FAQ: Time-of Use Rate for EV Owners
Alameda Municipal Power (AMP) will launch an optional time-of-use (TOU) rate plan for electric vehicle (EV) owners on July 1, 2021.Customers who are eligible for Alameda Municipal Power’s (AMP) time-of-use (TOU) rate program may benefit from lower pricing and have more control over their electric bills. TOU rate plans encourage customers to shift electricity usage to the times of day when electricity demand is lower.
By shifting some usage, such as charging your EV during off-peak hours, you may benefit from lower pricing and have more control over your electric bill.
What is the TOU rate?
EV customers who opt in to enroll in this optional rate will be charged two different prices depending on when they use electricity. Here is how it works:
- From 5-9 p.m. on weekdays (non-holidays), they will pay 50 cents per kilowatt-hour.
- For all other hours on weekdays, the rate will be 13.2 cents per kilowatt-hour.
- For all hours of the day on weekends and holidays, the rate will be 13.2 cents per kilowatt-hour.
Why was this rate designed for EV customers?
EV customers, who can plug in their vehicles at various times, have a significant amount of electricity usage that can be shifted to other times of the day.
They tend to have a higher electricity usage between the peak times of 5-9 p.m. than customers without EVs.
AMP is offering an incentive to EV customers to use less electricity during the peak hours of the day. Using electricity outside of these peak times reduces AMP’s costs (both distribution equipment costs and energy costs) and passes savings along to customers in discounted hours.
Other customer segments may be considered for an optional TOU rate in the future if their usage patterns offer a similar potential to pass along the savings. The PUB may explore TOU options for wider audiences in the future.
When will my bill show my enrollment in TOU?
Customers can pre-enroll for the plan, or they can enroll at any time starting July 1. Pre-enrollees will see their enrollment in the TOU plan reflected on their bill starting the first full billing cycle after July 1, 2021. For those who enroll at any time starting July 1, the change will take place in the next billing cycle.
When can I pre-enroll in the plan?
The application form will be available at alamedamp.com on June 1, 2021.
Can EV customers choose whether to join the new TOU rate?
Yes. The TOU rate is optional. EV customers who do not enroll will stay on AMP’s tiered rates.
Which EV customers will benefit the most from the new time-of-use rate?
The average EV customer uses around 550 kilowatt-hours per month in the summer and 600 kilowatt-hours in the winter. These customers typically use around 15-20% of their electricity in the on-peak periods, regardless of how much electricity they use in a month.
Customers who use more electricity in total, or who use a smaller percentage during the peak hours of 5-9 p.m., are more likely to save under a time-of-use rate.
Use the chart below to understand if you will save money with the TOU rate.
- Understanding the chart: The gray line is the breakeven point with tiered rates. The multi-colored lines represent different off-peak to on-peak usage ratios. The average customer falls between the green and yellow lines 15-20% of usage during the peak period.
- How to use the chart: Find your monthly usage level along the bottom of the graph and then aim for a multi-colored line that falls below the gray line to save money. The average EV customer using 550 kilowatt-hours a month should aim for less than 13-14% of their usage in the peak hours to save money.
Why is the off-peak rate of 13.2 cents considered a discount when AMP’s lowest tier rate is 11 cents per kilowatt-hour?
Most EV customers are charged tier 2 and tier 3 rates because they typically consume more electricity if they charge their EVs at home. So, the average rate an EV customer pays is higher than 13.2 cents per kilowatt-hour. If an EV customer does not use electricity above tier 2, we do not recommend switching to the TOU rate.
Why is the peak rate 50 cents?
While the 50-cent peak rate is higher than the tier 3 rate, the 50-cent rate is only in effect for short periods of time (12% of total hours in a week). The 50-cent peak rate offers an incentive to customers to shift their electricity use away from this peak period.
If I enroll and then decide later that the TOU rate does not fit my needs, can I un-enroll?
Yes. Customers who enroll within the first six months of the TOU rate program may un-enroll within six months of starting the new rate.
After that time, they may not re-enroll in the TOU rate for another 12 months. After the first six months that the rate is in effect (January 2022), customers will generally only be able to switch rates once every 12 months.
Will AMP need to install different meters for this TOU rate?
AMP intends to use the existing meters to implement TOU rates for enrolled customers by re-programming the meters remotely. AMP may rely on physical meter replacements, if the situation requires.
Information for Solar (ERG) and Battery Customers
I am an EV owner and a solar customer on AMP’s eligible renewable generation (ERG) plan. What do I need to need to know about joining the TOU rate?
Customers who are on AMP’s ERG solar plan can enroll in the TOU rate for EV owners without any impact on the solar credit they earn.
I am an EV owner and a battery customer on AMP’s ERG plan. What do I need to know about TOU?
Customers who are on AMP's ERG plan with a battery can enroll in the TOU rate for EV owners without any impact on the solar credit they earn. Battery customers can contact their battery installer to learn how they may be able to use their battery to save money on the TOU rate.
When will the EV discount expire?
AMP will discontinue the monthly EV discount on July 1 as part of the transition to the new time-of-use rate.
I am currently receiving the EV discount, but I don’t plan to join the new time-of-use rate. How will I be impacted?
The EV discount program will be discontinued, so it will no longer be an option, even for those who choose not to participate in TOU.