SDG&E Time of Use Discussion

User Forum Topic
Submitted by joec on May 18, 2019 - 12:09pm

Just curious what some of the smart folks here think about this whole SDG&E Time of Use energy thing...

Here's the chart and pricing:

Submitted by BoomerAang on May 18, 2019 - 7:06pm.

Opted for the original tiered system. I've got solar though on NEMA 1.0 that covers all my electrical usage.

Electricity in San Diego is so expensive compared to the rest of the country. Getting ridiculous as to how much prices are being raised every year.

Submitted by svelte on May 19, 2019 - 11:41am.

Did the same thing - stayed with my tiered plan instead of taking the TOU they were automatically switching me to.

I just analyzed my last 10 years of SDGE bills. Found this interesting:

Rates in April 2019:
Tier 3: $.49
Tier 2: $.35
Tier 1: $.25

Rates in April 2012:
Tier 4: $.26
Tier 3: $.24
Tier 2: $.17
Tier 1: $.14

In other words, the cheapest rate this year is about as much as the highest rate 7 years ago. Rates have almost doubled in 7 years.

Submitted by biggoldbear on May 28, 2019 - 12:39pm.

I went solar in Early 2016.
-2016 used straight tiered net metering, used slightly more than produced, owed ~$30 at true-up
-2017 went TOU, Summer peak (11a-6p) was about 53c/kwh so production during day gained more credit, the rest of the time was about 24c. Used more energy than 2016, but had $100 credit remaining at true-up.

-2018 SDGE changed peak pricing and hours, but I was grandfathered in (DR-SES-G) for 5 years.. HOWEVER both on peak and semi-peak are paying/costing 43c/kwh, only off-peak time in summer is 10p-6a. To help compensate, I upgraded pool pump to variable speed, so it was quiet enough to run at night and more efficient. Also purchased a plug-in hybrid car, only charge at night in summer.
End of year, used most energy yet, year end credit -$7.

2019- So far this year, running better than last year, even with rainy weather. More efficient pool pump has more than offset additional usage from plug-in car.

2021- I'll have to revisit plans available, all TOU switching to 4p-9p peak, I think straight net metering will likely be best option.

Submitted by LAAFTERHOURS on June 10, 2021 - 9:18am.

Can we resurface this thread? Trying to decide on plans and have no idea which to go with. My deciding factors:

20 panel Solar array with Net metering.
Work from home.
Spouse may work from home as well.

Submitted by sdrealtor on June 10, 2021 - 12:27pm.

Im in similar situation. Im TOU-5. I pay a flat nominal amount each month and get very low rates to charge vehicle in Super Off Peak hours after midnight. I got a new Tesla in late Decmber after the old one got totaled. It cam ewith one year free supercharging and the supercharger is one mile from house in a shopping center Im at a few times a week so for now I charge there but next year I'll be plugging in at home again.

Submitted by LAAFTERHOURS on June 11, 2021 - 9:59am.

Thanks for the input SDR. I am adding the Cybertruck in 2022 (pending delay) and/ or the Rivian R1S so while we dont drive a lot now, we will be charging more often. Training my wife to run dishwashers and washer dryers will be interesting. I assume you make up the 16 per month surcharge?

Submitted by gzz on June 11, 2021 - 1:32pm.

1. Most of the plans seem to be all within 5% of each other in overall estimated cost, at least with my usage.

2. SDGE's website tells you which plan is the cheapest based on the past 12 months usage. This is located on the same page where you switch plans, the estimates are below the plan name.

3. It's funny to see people with $80,000 cars worry about saving 30 cents by doing their dishes or laundry at night.

Submitted by an on June 11, 2021 - 1:55pm.

gzz wrote:
3. It's funny to see people with $80,000 cars worry about saving 30 cents by doing their dishes or laundry at night.

I feel the same way. I rather drive a $40k car and wash our dishes/laundry whenever I want.

Submitted by Escoguy on June 12, 2021 - 12:48pm.

Can we resurface this thread? Trying to decide on plans and have no idea which to go with. My deciding factors:

20 panel Solar array with Net metering.
Work from home.
Spouse may work from home as well.

If you already have a system:
With EV TOU5 rate of 9 cents per kWh at night, all charging should be done then for the EV. (FYI: we have a Model S and Model 3)

If you are planning as sytem:

Any solar you put in would be strictly for AC in the summer and any peak and off peak use. Don't worry about covering the EV charging (super off peak) as that will be about cost neutral.

Even then I'd target 80% of expected use as some years are cooler and then you can ensure 100% utilization as overproduction only gets 4 cents per kWh.
If you pick a vendor who can add panels, then you can add more if you needs change. Just get a larger inverter. I've put solar on my home and 4 rentals. Usage patterns change, it's easy to get excited and buy too much.

If you know you need AC all the time, you can go for more.
I've found except when it's humid, a 2K whole house fan can get the temp down int the mid 60s in the house even now. On balance I'd rather spend 2K on the fan than the last 20% of panels to get to 100% of usage.

Background: I've modeled solar installs for a few midsized companies. Did some consulting for Sempra a few years ago too.

Submitted by teaboy on June 14, 2021 - 9:10am.

I've been shopping for solar for a couple years now, but it's never made financial sense, since i dont use much a/c & dont have EVs...

But 4 things have changed recently:
1. Hotter summers and older, whinier kids have increased my a/c usage.
2. SDGE Rates have gone up, pushing my monthly electricity bills to $100-$120.
3. I have my eye on a R1S, Canoo, or maybe even an X in 2022.
4. I'm considering DIY'ing the Solar to cut costs considerably.

There's a few companies out there to help with Solar DIY, like &
I'm currently moving forward with the latter one. If I decide to be lazy or get into trouble with the DIY, projectsolar also has a licensed local SoCal roofing installer who can do it for me for $1250.

Does anyone have any experience of doing a DIY solar install?


Submitted by 42nate1 on June 20, 2021 - 8:03pm.

Similar reasons - I have a site visit this week with Sunrun (Costco) solar.

I'm getting about a 14kWh system. No out of pocket costs with the Costco membership & will finance at 1.49% for 20 years. It doesn't make any sense to pay cash for it. It works out to be less than $150 per month, which is less than any monthly electric bill I had last year. Last 12 months was $3.4K with SDG&E - it makes sense to go solar.

Could get by with a smaller system, but will buy an EV this year & imagine both me & wife will be driving EVs by the end of the decade. Thinking ahead & future proofing. Did not opt for the battery wall. I can add it on later for about $10k, but I think most EV's will have that capacity to power houses in an outage (or peak hours in the evening) later this decade.

Timing is right for me. 1.49% is less than inflation, so no urgency in paying it off.

best of luck.

Submitted by joec on June 20, 2021 - 8:34pm.

Nice to see this bumped as we're now reconsidering solar at home again.

Covid and all stopped that initially, but we're looking at like a 16 kWh system and batteries if possible.

Already have 1 EV, plan to get another EV as the next vehicle and timing depends on what new EVs come out.

There is NO financial calculation I've seen that ever makes home batteries make sense, but for me, I suppose with yearly fire dangers -> power cuts (even in Texas which laughed at CA with our rolling blackouts and has to do it now), I suppose it's simply a 'luxury' I like/want. That and of course, getting off SDG&E power from 4-9pm and just use batteries completely overnight.

The new Ford F150 Lightning can do Vehicle to Home eventually and many vehicles will have this, but that means you lose car power if you needed to drive and no idea how long that will take to come out.

Anyone use/researched Sonnen batteries vs. Tesla Powerwalls? I don't like that Tesla has like a 3.2k cycle warranty and Sonnen has 10k or 15k depending on product. Maybe it's the same since 3200 is around 8.8 years or is drain/full charge considered 2 cycles?

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