Time-of-Day (5-8 p.m.) Rate FAQs

What is TOD?

With the Time-of-Day (5-8 p.m.) Rate, you pay different rates for electricity based on the time of day you use it. For example, rates are highest during weekdays in the summer from 5 PM to 8 PM. Plus, TOD rates give you more control over your bill since you have the ability to shift your electricity use to times when it costs less.

What are the benefits of the Time-of-Day (5-8 p.m.) Rate?

The Time-of-Day (5-8 p.m.) Rate gives customers more control over their electric bill and offers opportunities to save money by shifting energy use away from the peak hours when power costs more. (Customers can change the time of day they do laundry or run their dishwasher, for example.) As always, customers also can save money if they reduce their overall energy use. Additionally, the Time-of-Day Rate offers a discount for customers who own or lease plug-in electric vehicles for charging between midnight and 6 AM. This discount applies to all of their household electricity use during these hours.

Who is eligible for the Time-of-Day (5-8 p.m.) Rate?

All residential customers are eligible for this rate except customers who don’t have a smart meter or those who live in a residential master metered community.

When can I enroll in the residential Time-of-Day (5-8 p.m.) Rate?

Customers with rooftop solar systems or plug-in electric vehicles (EV) can enroll beginning January 1, 2018. This rate will be the standard rate for customers approved for solar installations after December 31, 2017, or moving into a home with solar beginning January 1, 2018.

Customers opening new SMUD accounts on or after October 1, 2018, will be placed on the new TOD (5-8 p.m.) Rate. All other customers will be transitioned to the standard rate for residential customers. In 2019, this TOD rate will be the standard residential rate. We’ll move some customers to TOD as early as October 2018.

Will the TOD (5-8 p.m.) Rate lead to higher bills for me or will I save money?

Most customers will see a decrease in electricity bills during the eight non-summer months from October to May and a bill increase during the four summer months of June to September. Without making any changes to how they are using energy:

  • 6% of customers will save about $8 per month on average
  • 37% will save about $1.65 per month on the Time-of-Day Rate
  • 49% of customers will pay about $2 more per month on average
  • 8% of customers will pay about $6.80 more per month on average

What if I don't want to be on the TOD (5-8 p.m.) Rate?

Eligible customers can choose to switch to an alternative single-tier Fixed Rate with one price in winter and one price in summer. On average, the proposed Fixed Rate is approximately 4% higher than the proposed Time-of-Day (5–8 p.m.) Rate.

When are the TOD time periods?

Most of the year, from October through May, there are two time periods: Off-Peak and Peak. Off-Peak hours are all day, every day–except during the Peak hours of 5 to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday only.

On weekends and holidays, there’s no peak price. That means that the majority of the electricity you pay for during this time of year will be at the lowest Off-Peak price of $0.0969 cents per kilowatt hour. The Peak price of $0.1338 cents per kilowatt hour only applies to 3 hours each day, Monday through Friday.

From June through September, there are three time periods: Off-Peak, Mid-Peak and Peak. Off-Peak is when you pay the lowest rate from midnight to noon, Monday through Friday and all day on Saturday, Sunday and on holidays.

  • The Off-Peak price is $0.1166 cents per kilowatt hour
  • Mid-Peak is noon to midnight, Monday through Friday only and the price is $0.1611 cents per kilowatt hour
  • Peak is still 5 - 8 PM, Monday through Friday. During the summer months, the Peak price is $0.2835 cents per kilowatt hour.

How can I control my electric bills?

Shifting your electricity use to off-peak times (doing your laundry or running your dishwasher) and reducing your overall usage (turning off your TV when you’re not watching or using your grill instead of your oven) can help you control your electric bills. You’ll help defer the need to build more power plants and buy energy from sources that are less environmentally friendly.

If you have a plug-in electric vehicle, there is a 1.5¢ kWh EV credit for charging between midnight and 6 AM, every day, all year long, including weekends and holidays. That credit applies to all of your household electricity use during these hours. That means the price you pay during those hours is $0.0819 per kWh from October to May and $0.1016 per kWh from June to September. You’ll also reduce the potential of overloading our electrical system. That’s good for our community and the environment.

Using energy-saving technologies like Smart Strip power strips can also help you save on electricity costs.

Do I have to notify SMUD that I own a plug-in electric vehicle in order to receive the EV credit?

Yes, if you’re not already identified in our billing system as an EV owner, we’ll need to add your electric vehicle to your account so that you can receive the EV credit. This reduced price will apply to all of your household electricity use from midnight. to 6 AM, including weekends and holidays.

NOTE: This rate is for plug-in electric vehicles only. Hybrids are not eligible. Also, customers need to charge on their own meter, not a shared meter in a multi-family building.

How will my bill change on TOD?

Your electricity usage charges will be based on the rate that applies to the time period when usage occurred: Off-Peak, Mid-Peak and Peak You'll also see individual line items for your current electricity usage and costs for each time period.

When will I see the rate change to TOD on my bill?

Once you enroll in the TOD rate, you should see your new rate within 1 to 2 billing cycles.

Customers who are moved to the TOD rate in 2018 and 2019 will receive a notification of the rate change the billing period prior to the start of the bill cycle that the rate takes effect. The rate will then be reflected on your bill at the end of the next billing period.

What holidays are off-peak?

  • New Year's Day, January 1
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day, third Monday in January
  • Lincoln's birthday, February 12
  • Presidents Day, third Monday in February
  • Memorial Day, last Monday in May
  • Independence Day, July 4
  • Labor Day, first Monday in September
  • Columbus Day, second Monday in October
  • Veterans Day, November 11
  • Thanksgiving Day, fourth Thursday in November
  • Christmas Day, December 25

*If a holiday notes a specific date but the holiday falls on a weekend, the “observed” weekday will not receive the Off-Peak rate. However, for all holidays that do not list a specific date, the Off-Peak rate will apply on the “observed” weekday, whether or not the holiday falls on a weekend.

Can I switch to the alternative Fixed Rate if I decide not to stay on the TOD rate?

Yes. If you chose to enroll in the TOD rate, after you’ve been on the TOD rate for 12 months, you can choose to switch to an open rate. There are a few exceptions to the 12 month requirement, including the following examples:

  • Purchase of a plug-in electric vehicle
  • Installation of a rooftop solar system
  • SMUD introduces a new rate

How will the TOD rate affect customers that are all electric or have a well?

Approximately 74% of well customers save money on the Time-of-Day (5-8 p.m.) Rate with an average savings of $3.22 per month. Approximately 67% of all electric customers save money on the Time-of-Day (5-8 p.m.) Rate with an average savings of $1.42 per month.

How will the TOD rate affect customer groups like EAPR or MED Rate?

The new rate will affect EAPR and MED Rate customers about the same as other customers. We're working on programs and services that can help our EAPR and MED Rate customers manage their electric bills and stay comfortable in their homes with the new rate. Customers will also have a choice of Fixed Rate if it makes more sense for their specific situation.

How will the change to TOD rate affect customers who don’t have smart meters?

Customers who don’t have smart meters would be placed on the Fixed Rate. TOD will not be an available rate option since it requires a smart meter to bill hourly usage at the different time periods.

What appliances or electronics should I avoid using during peak hours?

During the summer, the biggest electricity user in your home is your air conditioning system. Large flat screen TVs and pool pumps also use significant amounts of energy.

You’ll see the most savings if you reduce or eliminate air conditioner use during summer Peak hours. Since it's still daylight outside between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. during the summer, be sure to turn off any lights you're not using.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Will I know how much my appliances cost to operate per hour?

To estimate the costs for your appliances, use this formula:

Appliance wattage ÷ 1000 = Kilowatt hour (kWh) consumption. Kilowatt hour (kWh) consumption x your rate = cost per kWh.

Here's an example:

1500 watts ÷ 1000 = 1.5 kWh 
1.5 kWh x $.0846 = $0.13 per hour

You can usually find the wattage on the side or bottom of appliances. Don't forget that some appliances, like water heaters, are controlled by a thermostat and cycle on and off during use.

Can I receive alerts about my energy usage when it is high?

Yes, you can set up alerts to be notified when your usage is on track for a higher bill than expected at smud.org/MyEnergyTools.

How much can I save on TOD if I change my usage?

Most customers will see a decrease in electricity bills during the eight non-summer months from October to May and a bill increase during the four summer months of June to September. Without making any changes to how they are using energy:

  • 6% of customers will save about $8 per month on average
  • 37% will save about $1.65 per month on the Time-of-Day Rate
  • 49% of customers will pay about $2 more per month on average
  • 8% of customers will pay about $6.80 more per month on average

Will SMUD turn off my air conditioner during summer Peak hours?

No. You will always have control over your air conditioner and all of your appliances.

What tools are available to help me manage my electricity use?

Use our interactive My Energy Tools charts to learn about your yearly, daily, even hourly electricity use for the past 24 hours, or any hour, day or month for the past 24 months. This will help you learn more about your household’s energy habits. You can also set an energy savings goal and track your progress. Log in any time and view your usage through smud.org/MyEnergyTools.

What is the difference between NEM1 and NEM2? 

The main difference between NEM1 and NEM2 is the date that the rooftop solar system was installed. NEM1 represents all customers who have rooftop solar systems installed or approved for installation prior to December 31, 2017. NEM2 represents solar customers who have their solar systems installed or approved for installation after December 31, 2017. Each type has different rate options.

What are my rate options as a solar customer? 

Customers approved for solar installation or who moved into a home with solar before January 1, 2018, may remain on their current rate for up five years (December 31, 2022) and are also eligible for our Time-of-Day (5-8 p.m.) Rate

For customers approved for solar installation or who moved into a home with solar after January 1, 2018, the Time-of-Day (5-8 p.m.) Rate is the standard rate.

Will my monthly credit for excess generation be calculated differently with TOD?

No, there are no changes to how the monthly net charge/credit is calculated. You'll continue to receive a retail-valued credit on your bill for your monthly excess electricity generated by your electric solar system.

Will my annual settlement option change with TOD?

No, there will be no changes to your annual settlement that you previously selected.

  • Payout settlement: If you chose the Annual Net Surplus Generation option and had excess generation, the kWh will not carry over, and you will be paid out for any excess generation at the Generation Compensation Value rate, which is published on smud.org. The 2016 Generation Compensation Value rate is $0.0596. If you consumed more than you generated, all additional usage will show as a charge on your settlement invoice, at the retail cost.
  • Carry-over settlement: If you chose the Opt-Out of Annual Net Surplus Generation option and had excess generation, the excess kWh will carry over to the first bill following the settlement and apply to the TOD periods, based upon that first bill's usage. If you consumed more than you generated, all electricity charges due on your settlement invoice will show as an amount due.

If I chose to carryover any excess generation to the new settlement period, how is kWh applied to the TOD time periods?

The excess kWhs are allocated to the TOD time periods based upon the kWh received from SMUD during each time period on your first bill following the settlement. Any remaining kWh—after applying the allocated kWh to each time period and toward your net usage for that first bill—will be applied at a retail-valued credit. This credit will continue to carry over on each monthly bill until used or settled on the 12th bill.