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 from 5 PM to 8 PM. Plus, TOD rates give you more control over your bill since you can 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 you more control over your electric bills and offers opportunities to save money by shifting energy use away from the peak hours when power costs more. (For example, you can change the time of day that you do laundry or run your dishwasher.) You can also save money if you reduce your 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 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.
What if I don't want to be on the TOD (5-8 p.m.) Rate?
Eligible customers can choose to switch to an optional Fixed Rate which has one price in winter and one price in summer. On average, the Fixed Rate is approximately 4% higher than the 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 p.m. 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. The peak price 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.
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. 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 is the TOD rate billed?
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.
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.
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?
You can use our Time-of-Day Cost Estimator to calculate the estimated daily cost of household items.
Or, you can 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 $.1166 = $0.17 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.
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.