Peak Day Pricing / Critical Peak Pricing
Utilities to Institute New Pricing for California Ag Customers
New pricing rules are being implemented by utilities in response to a statewide initiative by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), which oversees all of the state’s electric utilities. Energy planners use weather and power usage data to forecast California's power needs. Peak Days are declared when the demand for electricity threatens to outpace supply and utilities respond to a call to reduce power usage from the California Independent System Operator Corporation (ISO):
- Typically occur between 11 am and 7 pm for 1 to 4 hours in duration.
- Often during hot summer afternoons when the need for power rises dramatically in heavily populated areas and affects PG&E's and Southern Californis Edison's (SCE) service areas.
- Sometimes due to electric grid emergencies or maintenance outages.
For customers with individual loads at or above 200 kW, the utilities will apply surcharges on electricity used during critical peak demand periods. These charges can be up to 10 times standard power rates according to your rate schedule. For example, the average charge for a 200kW service point running for one hour would jump from $24 per hour to $224 per hour.
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