Understanding Time-Of-Use and Peak Time Rates

Time-Of-Use (TOU) or peak time rates refer to the higher costs your utility company may charge for electricity when demand for electricity goes up. In California under NEM 3.0 rates, a solar battery provides more savings than going solar alone.

Usually, demand rises during certain times of day, increasing the cost of generating electricity as well. To offset this increased cost, your utility company may charge more during the hours when demand typically spikes and less when demand is lower. TOU rates refer to these varying rates based on the time of day, while peak time rates are the charges for electricity during times of highest demand. 

For example, electricity rates may be less expensive in the middle of the day when more people are away at work or school. But, in the early evenings when families are more likely to be cooking dinner, running a load of laundry, or otherwise using electricity, rates could be higher. 


Smart ways to lower your electricity bills with TOU rates

If your utility uses TOU rates, don’t stress. There are things you can do to avoid racking up big charges when rates are highest: 

Invest in clean energy 

• Going solar is a great way to lower energy costs during the day by producing your own electricity to power your home while the sun is shining. 

• Add a solar battery to boost your solar savings by capturing the excess energy your solar produces during the day to use after the sun goes down and when demand (and prices) increase. Especially for those that are subject to California’s Net Energy Metering policy (NEM 3.0), a solar battery will provide more savings than going solar alone.  

Plan your electricity use 

• Using appliances like dishwashers, treadmills, and washing machines can require a lot of energy, so limiting their use to off-peak hours can help you save on your utility bills. Even with solar, it’s best to plan these activities for midday when the sun is high and your panels are producing the most energy.

About SunPower

We believe clean energy and storage should be accessible to everybody. And with nearly 40 years of dedicated solar experience, we're the only U.S.-based solar company that's been around longer than our 25-year warranty.

Learn more about saving money with solar panels and energy storage under TOU and peak electricity rates by calling 1-800-SUNPOWER. Or click the Get Started button and we'll contact you!