This Obscure PGE Rate Plan Will Save Me $2k Per Year On My Electric Bill

If you’re a PG&E customer, you might have heard about their new Electric Home Rate Plan, aimed at those who are moving away from fossil fuels and starting to purchase electrically-powered big appliances.

By signing up for this plan, PG&E estimates that I could potentially save up to $2,000 a year. Needless to say, I just switched to the plan!

However, it might be hard to figure out what this plan exactly means and how it can work for you. In this blog post, we’re going to delve into how the Electric Home Rate Plan works and whether it’s the right fit for you. Here’s a video I made about it:

Eligibility for the Electric Home Rate Plan

This rate plan is specifically for those who own an electric vehicle or a big electrical appliance, such as a heat pump, that can control the time of day when you use a lot of electrical power. To qualify for the plan, you need to provide proof of owning one of these eligible appliances, such as the VIN number of your electric car.

I just bought an electric car, which is what qualified me for the plan. I had to find and enter the VIN number in order to sign up.

Understanding Rate Tiers and Times

The Electric Home Rate Plan offers substantially lower rates for power usage during low-demand times of the day compared to traditional plans. For example, while a Time of Use plan may charge 37 cents per kilowatt-hour during off-peak hours, the Electric Home Plan would only charge 28 cents during the same hours.

My energy costs on my original Time of Use plan

However, it’s important to note that rates during peak hours will be higher than on some other plans. In my case, the peak cost is 32 cents per kWH.

These rates also change based on seasons, making it a bit more complex. To make the most of the savings, you’ll need to shift your usage to off-peak or partial-peak times when power is less expensive, usually from midnight to 3 p.m. Keep in mind that peak times are usually between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m., so try to avoid using energy-intensive appliances during these hours.

It’s also worth mentioning that there’s a $15 monthly fee associated with being on the Electric Home Rate Plan, but the potential savings usually offset this fee if you’re using a significant amount of power.

Also note that these are just PGE’s charges–your generation company will charge their own costs if you’re using a power provider other than PGE.

Saving Strategies on the Electric Home Rate Plan

To maximize the benefits of the Electric Home Rate Plan, focus on rescheduling when you use your eligible appliances:

– For electric vehicle owners, set your car’s charging settings to only charge after midnight
– Adjust your heat pump’s schedule to only work during the off-peak hours
– Similarly, set your electric water heater to only heat water during the specified off-peak hours, if you can

Beyond adjusting the usage of your eligible appliances, you can also take the following steps:

– Run large appliances, such as dishwashers and washing machines, during off-peak hours
– Use lights and other electronics during non-peak hours and turn them off during peak hours
– Adjust your thermostat schedule to precool or preheat your home ahead of peak times

Is the Electric Home Plan Right for You?

Understanding whether the Electric Home Rate Plan is the right fit for you depends on several factors. If you can prove ownership of an eligible appliance like an electric car or heat pump, and if you’re able to shift your usage to off-peak hours, you could potentially save on your electricity bill by switching to this plan.

For example, you could be going from paying up to 50 cents per kilowatt-hour during high-peak times on your original plan to just 28-32 cents with the Electric Home Plan. This can result in long-term and substantial savings.

While PG&E may not have published these rates in an easily accessible manner, we hope this article has shed some light on how the Electric Home Rate Plan works. If you’re able to optimize your energy usage and align it with the plan’s rate structure, it could turn out to be the perfect fit for your energy needs, potentially saving you thousands of dollars each year.

Key Takeaways

  • PGE’s Electric Home plan is for customers who are electrifying their homes, and it can save them a lot of money.
  • In order to qualify for this plan, customers must have an electric vehicle or a big electrical appliance like a heat pump, and they must provide proof of this.
  • The Electric Home plan is cheaper than a traditional plan or a time of use plan, especially during the off peak time from midnight to 3 p.m.
  • To make the most of this plan, customers can shift their power usage to the full off peak time and switch off lights, appliances and heating and cooling systems when possible.
  • A $15 monthly fee is associated with this plan, but it pays for itself if the customer is using a lot of power.


What is the PGE Electric Home Plan?
A: The PGE Electric Home Plan is a special plan created by PGE for customers who are electrifying their house. It offers lower rates for power used during low-demand times and higher rates during peak times, with the potential to save customers money on their electricity bills.
Q: What are the times of day when the power is least expensive on the Electric Home Plan?
A: The full off-peak time on the Electric Home Plan is from midnight until 3 pm, when power is 28 cents per kilowatt hour. There is also a partial peak time, an hour or two before and after the full peak time, from 4 pm to 9 pm, when power is more expensive.
Q: What are some ways to shift my electricity usage to the low-cost times?
A: You can set your electric car charging schedule to only charge after midnight, use an electric hot water heater, do dishes and laundry in the morning, and shut off lights and appliances. You can also set your thermostat to cool the house down in advance of the peak time.

Video Transcript

If you’re a PGE customer, you may have heard about their new electric home rate plan. But, it’s very hard to figure out what this plan means. So, I’m going to shed a bit of light on that because I’m actually on this new plan in the Bay Area.

The electric home plan is a special plan from PGE for people who are electrifying their house. If you’re moving away from fossil fuels or buying new electrical appliances, you can move to this plan and potentially save a lot of money. PGE projected that I’d save about $2,000 a year on this plan.

In order to qualify for the plan, you must own an electric vehicle or big electrical appliance, like a heat pump. They won’t take your word for it, you must put in your information. In my case, I had to put in my electric car’s VIN number.

Once you qualify, they make the rate plan such that if you use power during a low demand time of the day, then your rates are substantially less than you’d pay with a traditional plan. On my time of use plan, I paid ~37 cents per kilowatt hour for power. On the electric home plan, I pay 28 cents per kilowatt hour during the off peak time.

The downside is that they bump up the rate during the peak time a bit more. The full off peak time is from midnight to 3 p.m. because that’s when solar and wind power are at their strongest and people aren’t using a lot of power. There’s also a partial peak, one or two hours before and after the full peak. The full peak time is from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.

If you can shift your power usage to these full off peak times, it’s even cheaper. If you have an electric car, set the charging schedule to start after midnight. For a home charging station, it’s easy to set it to start after midnight. You can also set your heat pump and electric hot water heater to specific times.

You also have to pay a $15 monthly fee to be on this plan. But, if you’re using a lot of power, it pays for itself quickly.

Does this plan make sense for you? It depends. If you have a qualifying appliance and can shift your usage to midnight to 3 p.m., it may make sense. I paid ~37 cents per kilowatt hour before and now I’m paying ~28-32 cents. I hope this helps to shed some light if you’re doing research on the plan.

Thomas Smith

Thomas Smith is a food and travel photographer and writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. His photographic work routinely appears in publications including Food and Wine, Conde Nast Traveler, and the New York Times and his writing appears in IEEE Spectrum, SFGate, the Bold Italic and more. Smith holds a degree in Cognitive Science (Neuroscience) and Anthropology from the Johns Hopkins University.

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