Why are Rates Different in Winter vs. Summer?
Now that it’s November, Californians look for signs of autumn, like leaves changing color and holiday displays in stores. But for some Southern California Edison customers, they can tell the change of seasons by looking at their monthly electric bill.
Time-of-Use (TOU) rates are designed to reflect, as closely as possible, the actual cost of electric service, which changes at different times of day and different months of the year.
SCE’s winter rates went into effect Oct. 1 for both residential and commercial customers enrolled in a Time-of-Use rate plan and continue through the end of May. Summer rates for these customers are in effect from June 1 through Sept. 30.
During summer months, customer demand for electricity is at its highest, especially in the late afternoon and early evening. Also, the competition among power providers to purchase electricity in short-term markets increases during the summer season, which helps drive up the price of electricity.
The decreased demand during non-summer months and the daytime abundance of electricity drive down the cost of electric service. As a result, SCE can offer its residential and commercial TOU customers a “Super Off-Peak” rate from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. every day from Oct. 1 through May 31.
Residential customers can learn which plan offers the best rate option for their lifestyle by using SCE’s Rate Comparison Tool at sce.com/ratechange.