Rooftop, Solar, Utility Integration

Listen Up: Bob Dylan Summed It Up – ‘The Times [of the Rates], They are a Changing.’

California utilities are changing their Time of Use (TOU) rate schedules, and the changes are not good for solar customers. If you are in PG&E territory, you should immediately consider changing your electric rate plan. If you are in other California utility districts, check with your solar installer to optimize your rates. If you’re not in California, continue to be vigilant and advocate for favorable solar rates and net metering.

E-6 TOU (Time of Use) Rates Closed to Customers in March, and E-7 Eliminated

When the new TOU rates become available this spring, PG&E will end its solar friendly E-6 and E-7 rates. The new TOU rates will not be as favorable to solar customers since the peak rate periods are shifted later in the day when there is less generation from solar (see details below).

For most customers we recommend that you immediately change to the E-6 rate so that you can preserve this good rate option for the future.

  • If you are on the current E-6 TOU rate you don’t need to do anything. This E-6 rate is currently slated to stay in place until 2020 or later.
  • If you are on the old E-7 rate we recommend that you immediately change to the E-6 rate. Otherwise, PG&E will automatically switch you to the new TOU rate, which will not save you as much money as the E-6 rate.
  • If you are on an EV rate and charge your vehicle at night, stay on the EV rate.
  • If you are on the current E-1 rate and do not use a lot of electricity during weekday afternoons, we recommend that you change to the E-6 rate. Since the E-1 rate has no time of use component, it is generally good for customers who cannot run their meters backwards during the day (typically smaller solar systems and higher daytime AC electric loads). All current solar customers are on the Net Metering 1.0 program (and grandfathered for 20 years), so you can go back to the E-1 rate if the E-6 rate is not beneficial for you.

Clear as mud, right? Unfortunately, these rate changes are complicated. Nevertheless, we want you to achieve the maximum benefits from your rooftop solar system. For more information, please call PG&E at (800) 743-5000 to discuss your rate options and decide whether moving to E-6 is the best option for you.

E-7 Rates

  • PEAK: noon to 6pm Monday through Friday, All Year, $0.16-$0.54/kwh
  • OFF-PEAK: all other hours, $0.13-$0.30/kwh

E-6 Rates

Summer (May 1 through October 31)

  • PEAK: 1pm to 7pm Monday through Friday, $0.34-$0.51/kwh
  • PARTIAL-PEAK: 10am to 1pm and 7pm to 9pm Monday through Friday, plus 5pm to 8pm Saturday and Sunday, $0.23-0.39/kwh
  • OFF-PEAK: All other times, including Holidays, $0.15-$0.32/kwh

Winter (November 1 through April 30)

  • PARTIAL-PEAK: 5pm to 8pm Monday through Friday, $0.17-$0.34/kwh
  • OFF-PEAK: All other times, including Holidays, $0.15-$0.32/kwh

EV Rates

  • PEAK: 2PM-9PM Monday-Friday, 3PM-7 PM Sat, Sun, Holidays, $0.44/kwh Summer, $0.31/kwh Winter
  • PARTIAL PEAK: 7AM-2PM Monday-Friday, 9PM-11PM M-F, $0.24/kwh Summer, $0.18/kwh Winter
  • OFF PEAK: All other hours. $0.11/kwh


  • PEAK: 3pm to 8pm Monday through Friday, rates TBD
  • OFF-PEAK: All other times, including Holidays, rates TBD


About The Energy Show

As energy costs consume more and more of our hard-earned dollars, we as consumers really start to pay attention. But we don’t have to resign ourselves to $5/gallon gas prices, $200/month electric bills and $500 heating bills. There are literally hundreds of products, tricks and techniques that we can use to dramatically reduce these costs — very affordably.

The Energy Show on Renewable Energy World is a weekly 20-minute podcast that provides tips and advice to reduce your home and business energy consumption. Every week we’ll cover topics that will help cut your energy bill, explain new products and technologies in plain English, and cut through the hype so that you can make smart and cost-effective energy choices. 

About Your Host

Barry Cinnamon is a long-time advocate of renewable energy and is a widely recognized solar power expert. In 2001 he founded Akeena Solar — which grew to become the largest national residential solar installer by the middle of the last decade with over 10,000 rooftop customers coast to coast. He partnered with Westinghouse to create Westinghouse Solar in 2010, and sold the company in 2012.

His pioneering work on reducing costs of rooftop solar power systems include Andalay, the first solar panel with integrated racking, grounding and wiring; the first UL listed AC solar panel; and the first fully “plug and play” AC solar panel. His current efforts are focused on reducing the soft costs for solar power systems, which cause system prices in the U.S. to be double those of Germany.

Although Barry may be known for his outspoken work in the solar industry, he has hands-on experience with a wide range of energy saving technologies.  He’s been doing residential energy audits since the punch card days, developed one of the first ground-source heat pumps in the early ‘80s, and always abides by the Laws of Thermodynamics.

Lead image: Green microphone. Credit: Shutterstock.