What Is Peak Day Pricing?

Upward Trend

Small and mid-sized companies state that electricity is one of the top three expenses seen within their business.  

PG&E’s Peak Day Pricing (PDP) program is designed to relieve strain on the electric grid by encouraging customers to shift energy usage away from peak times. The program charges lower than average prices year-round in exchange for very high prices (up to 8x normal rates) during peak events, which occur 9-15 times per year and are announced 24 hours in advance. Time of Use (TOU) rates are similar, though on- and off-peak times follow a preset seasonal pattern and price differences are less stark.  

Both rates reflect reality – the cost of supplying energy is not the same 24/7—and trends dictate that the difference between on- and off-peak prices will increase as the electrical grid becomes more complex. Resulting opportunities for economic benefit will grow. 

Small- and mid-sized business customers often feel at the mercy of PDP rates.  If you’ve been opted into PDP rates, as nearly all PG&E business customers have, it’s difficult to make a sound decision on whether to stay with PDP or revert to Time-of-Use rates.  With either path, how do you avoid using energy during peak times when you’re servicing customers and growing your business? 

Modern Technology to the Rescue… 

Just like your smart phone puts control and ease at your fingertips, a smart building has capabilities that put you in the driver’s seat in managing PDP/TOU to your advantage.  Without a smart building, it’s very difficult to respond to a PDP event.  With one, you can go about managing your business while your building manages itself to minimize the cost impacts of these complicated utility rates.