The sunrise power link in the desert brings renewable power to San Diego. Photo courtesy SDG&E

As part of a Public Utilities Commission initiative to support California’s shift to clean energy, San Diego Gas & Electric will begin a transition to time-of-use pricing in March.

The utility announced Thursday that approximately 750,000 customers — roughly 75,000-100,000 per month — will be moved to new pricing plans by mid-2020.

The plans are designed to encourage a cleaner power grid by using energy when renewable resources like solar power are readily available.

Customers will be able to save money by shifting electricity use to hours before 4 p.m. or after 9 p.m.

“The transition to time-of-use plans marks a big milestone in California’s journey toward a clean energy future,” said Scott Crider, SDG&E’s vice president of customer services. “We are committed to helping our customers through this transition.”

The utility said small shifts in electricity use can make a big difference, including running the dishwasher or doing laundry during off-peak hours. Tips on energy use can be found online at sdge.com/whenmatters.

Existing customers who are transitioning can try a new plan risk-free for up to one year. If they end up spending more on energy than when they were on their original plan, SDG&E will provide a bill credit for the difference.

SDG&E has offered time-of-use plans to its residential customers for more than a decade. Currently, approximately 150,000 residential customers are enrolled in such plans, especially owners of electric vehicles.

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