SoCal Edison’s new rates will vary with the time of day. Some customers may not benefit much — or at all

Nearly 7 million California households will begin switching to new electricity rates this year that change based on the time of day, bringing lower energy bills for some.

But critics say time-varying rates could hurt more homes than they help — and a new study finds people tend to overestimate the benefits.

State officials have ordered Southern California Edison, Pacific Gas & Electric and San Diego Gas & Electric to enroll most customers in so-called time-of-use rate plans. Under time-varying rates, electricity will cost more in the evening and over the summer, and less during the afternoon and in the winter.

SDG&E plans to begin shifting residential customers to time-of-use rates in March, with Edison and PG&E following in October 2020. Business and agricultural customers already pay time-varying rates.

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