Some residents in San Mateo County may have a new look to their energy bill starting next month. As part of a statewide energy policy, PG&E and Peninsula Clean Energy will move approximately 200,000 eligible San Mateo County electric customers currently on a tiered rate plan, called E-1, to a “time-of-use” rate plan.

PG&E said the transition, starting locally in September, will continue regionally through 2022 and affect approximately 2.5 million customers in the company’s service area. All California investor-owned electric utilities are required to automatically enroll customers into the time-of-use rate plan, which charges more for each kilowatt per hour from 4 to 9 p.m., a time slot deemed peak hours. Rates are cheaper during the remaining 19 hours, or “off-peak” hours.

The system is intended to get customers to use energy when rates and demand are lower but renewable resources like solar and wind are more plentiful. Experts say time-of-use plans allow customers more control over energy bills and help reduce carbon emissions.

Peninsula Clean Energy is a joint powers agency known as a Community Choice Aggregation program. It buys power from a variety of sources and says it’s on track to sell 100 percent renewable energy by 2025. It uses PG&E infrastructure to deliver power to local residents and power bills are split between generation and delivery components. It supplies 97 percent of Half Moon Bay customers with carbon-free electricity.

PG&E reportedly does not profit from this change to time-of-use billing. If a customer pays more on the time-of-use rate plan than under the current tiered plan, PG&E and Peninsula Clean Energy will credit the customer the difference for the first year.

August Howell is a staff writer for the Review covering city government and public safety. Previously, he was the Review’s community, arts and sports reporter. He studied journalism at the University of Oregon.

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