SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - San Diego Gas & Electric is rolling out new rate plans for their electrical customers based on what time of day they use their energy.
The plans, called "Time of Use," charge more for electricity during "peak" hours. The hours vary, but typically they fall between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m.
During the rest of the day, the rates are significantly lower.
It's an effort by the energy company to encourage conservation and to take pressure off the electrical system during busy hours.
"Everyone has different energy uses," said SDG&E spokesperson Colleen Windsor. "For some people, it will make sense to use the new plans. Others may choose not to make the change."
This week, SDG&E sent out a letter to 50,000 customers who have solar plans, telling them they could go online and change to the new Time of Use plan. There's no requirement to do so, but anyone interested needs to log on by July 28 and select the new plan.
All of the other customers in San Diego will be automatically phased in by 2019.
The company started with their solar customers because rules in that program allow them to lock in their peak times for five years from the start of their solar contract.
Meanwhile, SDG&E already started testing the Time of Use plans on volunteer families in San Diego.
Sarah Lutz and her family, who live in 4S Ranch, tried it out and she told 10News, "We did adapt. It changed the time we do laundry, dishes and run the air."
She showed 10News her SDG&E bill from April 2016, when the family wasn't on the plan, and April of 2017, when they were. The 2017 bill was $27 lower.
"It's really a behavior change," said Windsor. "We're trying to get people to use energy when there's less demand."
SDG&E says that will put less stress on the system.
For more information on the program, go to SDGE.com.