Very Deceptive SCE (Southern California Edison) TOU Plan for Solar Customer

Very Deceptive SCE (Southern California Edison) TOU Plan for Solar Customer

After getting electric cars and installed solar for two years, I am thoroughly confused by the SCE's TOU plan. I think this was done on purpose by SCE. Not sure anyone share my experience?

I am on TOU-D-A-SDP plan, basically the electric rate has 3 ties based on the time of the day the electricity was consumed and generated. The promise or the concept of the TOU for solar customer is that you are generating electricity at peak rate and consume mostly during the evening for vehicle charging. But the billing is totally different. Here is a typical SCE bill I got (couldn't attach the picture)

Delivery Charge:
On peak: 46 KWh x 0.14912 = $6.86
Off peak: -142 KWh x 0.14912 = -$21.18
Super Off Peak: 357 KWh x 0.08650 = $30.88
DWR bond charge: 261 KHh x 0.00539 = $1.41

Generation Charge:
DWR Energy credit: 261 KHh x -0.00022 = -$0.06
On Peak: 46 KHw x 0.18110 = $8.33
Off Peak: -142 KHh x 0.12689 = -$18.02
Super off peak: 357 KHh x 0.04395 = $15.69

Base Line credit: 261 KHh x 0.09898 = -$25.83
Energy Charge Total: -$1.92

Above is fine, it seems conform to spirit of the TOU. I generated more electricity during off peak period, even tough it is smaller than I used during super off peak, but still be able to generate some credit in the end.

To problem is that this credit was accumulated months after months until you reached 12th's month, but you won't see a dime in the end mostly, it is just a credit on paper, and will be wiped out to zero after new 12-month period start. Here is where the SCE trickery coming into play: You have an "additional information regarding your NET Consumption / Generation:" section in your bill: For me, here is for above month:
. Your cumulative energy charge as of previous month: -562.43
. Your current month energy charge total: -$1.91
. Your cumulative energy charge year-to-date: -$564.35 (<--- You would be wrong if you think you will get this credit as a check at the end of year)
. Your cumulative KWh Year-to-Date: 20KHh

SCE doesn't look at the $-564.35 number, which takes into account TOU, when calculating the year-end bill. They look at the last number, 20KHh, and use this to calculate the year-end bill or credit. This 20KHz is just the net of generation and consumption, essentially NO TOU. Solar customer won't be credited accordingly this way. But at the same time, they charge much higher rate for peak time use for non-solar customer. This is very deceiving.


lilbean | January 22, 2017

Yep! I despise SCE.

rxlawdude | January 22, 2017

That's been the net metering policy in California for a long time. I am reasonably sure that SDGE and PGE also have that same tariff policy.

But, what has become the biggest rip-off was the changing of "peak" hours to late afternoon into a good portion of the evening. THAT has gerrymandered the peak solar generation largely into "off peak" hours, thus under-crediting customers. Peak used to start at noon; now it's 2pm.

Yep, SCE sucks, but it seems most IOUs do.

rxlawdude | January 22, 2017

@michael, I have to question your bill for "super off peak" at only $.04/kWh. Tariff is a total of $.12/kWh. You apparently aren't factoring in the "distribution fees."

rxlawdude | January 22, 2017

@michael, never mind. I didn't scroll up far enough into your message.

Aren't utilities great? They can turn a simple "how much does it cost per kWh" into a Where's Waldo. :-(

Earl and Nagin ... | January 22, 2017

I agree with the rest here that SCE sucks and is gerrymandering the pricing in their favor and its impossible to figure out what, exactly is happening.
However, there is some legitimacy in what they are doing since the peak solar production falls off in the afternoon, however, the peak demand on the grid occurs after the solar peak in the early evening. This means that the power company must pay to have sufficient generation capacity to provide electricity during that peak demand period even though they are not generating any revenue from it the rest of the day.
I'm hoping that the Powerwall (if we ever get one) will allow us to store electricity generated during off-peak morning rates and sell it to them (or at least not draw from the grid) during the peak evening times. I don't know that this actually makes economic sense but it would certainly make me feel better :-)
I also shouldn't complain too much since we did get a refund check from SCE for last year when our Kwhr consumption exceeded our generation probably because our consumed $ were less than our generated $. I have no idea how the refund amount was computed though.

rxlawdude | January 22, 2017

We've got a 6.7kW solar array that, prior to the Tesla, was netting us negative consumption from the grid. At that time, we were on the Rate D (tiered by total usage) plan. After getting the Tesla, we were getting killed ($300/mo+).

In October '15, I signed up for the EV Submeter Pilot program, which decoupled the usage for charging the Tesla from the rest of the home. As you can imagine, that substantially dropped the home consumption while giving the $.12/kWh off-peak on the submeter for the car. That party ended in the middle of last year.

As I was planning on participating in Phase 2 of the Submeter Pilot, I noted that the off peak on TOU-D-A was the same (or close enough to be essentially the same) as the Submetered EV account. So we switched to that.
I typically use 900-1100kWh/mo for the car (long commute), and our whole-house bill is netting at about $150/mo. As I was paying $150/mo to fill my Plug-in-Prius, I see this whole thing as a net gain - much more car for the same amount of energy costs.

At least, that's my rationale and I'm sticking to it. :-)

brando | January 23, 2017

Peak use and peak charges 12-2pm with air conditioning?
High cost peaker plants required.
Or free power from end user solar panels excess production?

(those end users want something for their electrons, give them the lowest possible price - max profits)
Regulate Utilities? and interfere with capitalistic profits? how dare you consider

Or just try try the AZ approach. Don't buy from end users, just charge them about $42/month if they have any solar panels as those pesky end users are avoiding paying for your utility profits (no, no that would be grid/power plant costs)

ntustin | January 26, 2017

Remember the electric supply lines only go one way! Where is the solar roof forum!!!

Dbear | January 14, 2019

Any update on your experience with SCE TOU-D-A? I currently have solar panels and am on NEM-1 Tier rate structure.I never advance past Tier 1.The end of year bill has been between $100 and $200. I imagine that will change when I start charging my Model 3 at home. I want to know if it is worth it to switch to TOU-D-A.

Earl and Nagin ... | January 14, 2019

If you're between $100 and $200 at the end of the year, that's around $10 - $15 per month. If you think about it, that is really quite good. Changing rate plans may make a difference but it could actually go either way. website has a tool that supposedly computes your bill based on different rate plans but I'm not convinced how well it handles solar or significant off-peak (EV) use.

rxlawdude | January 16, 2019

@Dbear, I mis-spoke above. We are on TOU-D-B.

With a 6.7kW solar array and two Teslas, our total annual bill is approaching $2,500.

Basically, this consumption (mostly at super-off-peak) is the EV charging, which ranges from 700-1500kWh/month. The solar pretty much nets out the cost of power for the household.

TOU-D-A has higher rates but a cheaper service charge of around $1.00/mo; TOU-D-B has lower rates (significantly lower!) but a $17.00/mo service charge regardless of consumption.