2024 SDG&E Electric Rates: How To Lower Your Electricity Costs in San Diego | Solar.com

Please enter a valid zip code.

2024 SDG&E Electric Rates: How To Lower Your Electricity Costs in San Diego

San Diego is known for its pristine beaches, world-class zoo, and some of the highest electricity prices in the world.

In fact, if San Diego was its own country, its average grid electricity price of 47.7 cents per kilowatt hour would rank fourth highest among nations with verifiable data.

Fortunately, between San Diego Gas and Electric’s (SDG&E) many electric rate plans and a robust residential solar and battery market, San Diegans have several options to lower their electricity bills.

In this article, we’ll explore various SDG&E tariffs (aka rate plans) and how to choose the right option for your electricity needs.

Use the links below to jump to a topic:

Let’s start by looking at SDG&E electric rates today and how we got here.

What are SDG&E’s electric rates in 2024?

Heading into 2024, the average electric rate for SDG&E customers is 47.7 cents per kWh according to the latest data from the BLS, which is 16% higher than the average rate of 41 cents per kWh the year before.

Keep in mind that there are dozens of SDG&E rate tariffs, so each customer’s average rate will vary based on their consumption habits and rate schedules (which we’ll explore below).

SDGE Rate increase history

SDG&E has relatively high electricity rates for many years, but they increased quite rapidly from 2020-2023. From July 2020 to July 2023, the average utility rate increased from 28.9 cents per kWh to 47.6 cents per kWh — a 65% increase in just three years!

The chart below shows the average recorded SGE&E electric rate from 2018-2023, per the BLS, in addition to rates forecasted in the 2023 Senate Bill 695 report published by the CPUC.

Chart depicting SDGE electric rates from 2018 through 2026

While all forecasts should be taken with a grain of salt (i.e., they are subject to change), it’s worth noting that the nominal rate forecasted for 2023 in the Senate Bill report is much lower than what’s been recorded by the BLS so far, perhaps due to differences in data collection methods.

The Senate Bill report also forecasts that SDG&E rates will increase “about 39 percent through 2026 for an average annual increase of 10.4%.” If, in fact, the rates recorded by the BLS increase by 10.4% per year through 2026, the average utility rate in San Diego would exceed 64 cents per kWh by 2026.

The bottom line is that SDG&E electric rates are already the highest in the US and are expected to keep climbing. Next, we’ll look at the different rate plans and identify opportunities to lower your electricity bill.



SDG&E standard residential rates (Schedule DR)

Schedule DR is SDG&E’s standard residential rate plan that features two tiers of electricity charges. As of January 2024, Tier 1 charges are 38.4 cents and Tier 2 charges are 48.3 cents per kWh.

SDGE Schedule DR Q1 2024

In 2024, the Schedule DR rates are the same during the summer (June-October) and winter (November-May) billing periods and this plan no longer includes a third tier of High Use Charges (HUC) tier that it did in 2021.

Customers are charged under Tier 1 rates for the first up to 130% of their baseline allowance in each billing cycle. Baseline allowances are based on four climate zones throughout SDG&E’s service territory, as shown in the map below.

SDGE Baseline allowance zones

map showing the SDGE climatic zones that determine basline electricity allowance

Climatic Zone Summer (kWh per day) Winter (kWh per day)
Coastal 9 14
Inland 10.4 9.6
Mountain 13.6 12.9
Desert 15.9 10.9

Daily allowances as posted by SDG&E in August 2024 and are subject to change.

To find your baseline allowance for each billing period, simply multiply the daily allowance (shown above) by the number of days in the month.

If you live in the Inland climate zone your baseline allowance would be 312 kWh in a 30-day summer month like June (10.4 x 30 days = 312). That means you can use 406 kWh (130% of 312) of electricity at Tier 1 rates before being billed at Tier 2 rates for the rest of the month.

So, if you live in the San Diego metro area and use 600 kWh of electricity in January 2024, you would buy the first 406 kWh at 38.4 cents per kWh ($156) and the next 194 kWh at 48.3 per kWh ($94) for a monthly total charge around $250.

Electricity consumption (kWh) Rate ($/kWh) Cost ($)
Tier 1 406 kWh $0.384 $156
Tier 2 194 kWh $0.483 $95
Total 600 kWh $250

Currently, SDG&E Schedule DR rates are among the highest electricity charges in the country, so it’s worth exploring ways to lower your rate, which many customers can do using time-of-use (TOU) rate plans.

SDG&E residential time-of-use (TOU) rates

SDG&E has three different time-of-use rate plans for residential customers (in addition to plans specifically for EV and solar owners, which we’ll discuss later) with per kWh charges ranging from 33 to 68 cents per kWh, depending on the rate schedule, season, and time of day. These plans are known as:

  • TOU-DR1
  • TOU-DR2
  • TOU-DR-P

There are additional versions of each plan for customers who qualify for CARE (California Alternate Rates for Energy) and a Medical Baseline allowance.

Each plan follows the same schedule, with the most expensive rates coming during the On-Peak hours of 4 pm and 9 pm. However, the electricity prices for each plan vary in each TOU period, giving residential customers a few options based on their consumption habits.

SDGE On-peak, Off-Peak, and Super Off-Peak hours chart 2024


TOU Period Summer Winter
On-Peak 4-9 pm 4-9 pm
Off-Peak 6 am – 4 pm & 9 pm – midnight 6 am – 4 pm & 9 pm – midnight
Super Off-Peak Midnight – 6 am Midnight – 6 am*

*Also includes 10 am – 2 pm in March and April

Weekends and Holidays

TOU Period Summer Winter
On-Peak 4-9 pm 4-9 pm
Off-Peak 2 am – 4 pm & 9 pm – midnight 2 am – 4 pm & 9 pm – midnight
Super Off-Peak Midnight – 2 pm Midnight – 2 pm

The name of the game for TOU rate plans is to avoid using electricity during On-Peak hours as much as possible. This is especially true in SDG&E territory, where On-Peak TOU rates can exceed 68 cents per kWh in the summer – nearly 4 times the national average price per kWh of electricity!

The chart below shows the winter weekday rates for each TOU-DR schedule as of January 2024, which are in effect from November 1 through May 31.

SDGE TOU Winter rates Q1 2024

Now let’s compare winter rates to the 2024 summer rates, which are in effect from June 1 to October 31. In general, summer rates are lower during Super-Off-Peak periods and higher during On-Peak periods, which can have a substantial impact on your electricity costs.

SDGE TOU summer rates Q1 2024 v2

It’s worth noting that every residential TOU schedule has a 10-cent per kWh baseline credit adjustment for the first 130% of your monthly baseline allowance (which we discussed above). So, if you live in the San Diego metro area, you’ll receive an on-bill credit of  ~$40.6 which reflects the lower cost of your first 406 kWh of usage (130% of your 312 kWh monthly baseline allowance).

Alright, let’s take a look at each SDG&E TOU plan individually to get a sense of which one works best for you.

Schedule TOU-DR1

Shown in purple above, the Schedule TOU-DR1 features the lowest Super Off-Peak rates at 33 cents per kWh during summer weekdays but makes up for it with On-Peak rates north of 68 cents per kWh.

Given this 35-cent swing, this plan is ideal for customers who can shift a majority of their electricity usage to Super Off-Peak hours. For example, if you work second-shift and can avoid running your air conditioning between 4-9 pm, then this plan may be a good fit.

Schedule TOU-DR2

Shown in pink above, the Schedule TOU-DR2 features the lowest Off-Peak rates at 39 cents per kWh during summer weekdays. However, it also has On-Peak rates higher than 68 cents per kWh and does not have Super Off-Peak Rates.

If you can avoid On-Peak rates, this plan is basically like having a tiered rate plan that starts at around 29 cents per kWh and jumps to 39 cents per kWh after 130% of your baseline monthly allowance.

Just don’t underestimate how fast 68 cents per kWh can add up if you crank the AC during On-Peak hours…

Schedule TOU-DR-P

Finally, shown in blue above, the Schedule TOU-DR-P offers lower rates to customers who agree to conserve electricity usage during “Reduce Your Use” events to help stabilize the grid.

While 50 cents per kWh is tempting (at least in SDG&E territory) for On-Peak pricing, there is a $1.16 per kWh additional charge for using electricity from 4-9 pm during Reduce Your Use (RDU) events!

According to SDG&E, there can be up to 18 RDU events per year, so it is crucial to sign up for alerts and avoid using electricity during these windows.

For example, if you miss an RDU alert and run your A/C from 4 to 9 pm, you could end up using 15 kWh of electricity at $1.77 per kWh, racking up $26.55 in electricity charges in less time than it takes to drive from San Diego to Phoenix.

The right TOU plan for you depends largely on your consumption habits and ability to avoid On-Peak pricing, especially in the summer. However, it also depends on what you’re powering. If you have an EV, solar panels, or a heat pump, there are SDG&E rate plans specifically for your situation.



SDG&E EV rates in 2024

For someone driving 37 miles per day (the national average), charging an EV requires around 10.5 kWh per day or an additional 315 kWh per month. With substantially more usage, SDG&E has four TOU rate schedules designed to reduce the cost and strain of charging an EV on grid electricity.

These include:

  • EV-TOU and EV-TOU-2 (same rates)
  • EV-TOU-5
  • EV-TOU-5P

The graph below shows winter rates for SDG&E for residential EV charging plans, which are in effect from November 1 through May 31.

chart depicting SDG&E's winter EV charging rates for 2024


Home charging gets much more expensive during On-Peak summer hours in effect from June 1-October 31. The summer weekday rates for each SDG&E EV charging plan are shown in the chart below.

SDGE Summer EV Charging rates Q1 2024

The SDG&E EV rates follow the same TOU schedule as the plans listed above. However, there is no on-bill credit for your baseline allowance, so the rates you see in the chart above are the rates you’ll get in the summer months.

Let’s explore each plan individually to see which one makes the most sense for your EV charging needs.

Schedule EV-TOU-5

Shown in purple above, the SDG&E EV-TOU-5 plan features the lowest Super Off-Peak rates of any plan listed in this article. However, it comes with a $16 per month basic service fee.

The idea is that if you can contain all of your EV charging to Super Off-Peak hours, the lower rates will offset the basic charge and make this plan worthwhile. To be exact, you’d need to charge 122 kWh of electricity per month between midnight and 6 am to break even on the TOU-5 plan in the summer.

EV-TOU-5 notable features:

  • Very low Super Off-Peak rates
  • $16 basic service fee
  • Rates apply to home usage and EV charging

Schedule EV-TOU-5P

Shown in green above, the TOU-5P plan has slightly lower rates than the TOU-5 plan. However, customers in this plan are subject to Reduce Your Use (RYU) days, during which they are subject to a $1.16 per kWh charge during On-Peak hours (4-9 pm).

So, if you can safely avoid On-Peak hours during RYU days, you can enjoy lower rates throughout the year.

Schedule EV-TOU-2

Shown in pink above, the EV-TOU-2 plan features the highest electricity rates but does not have a monthly basic charge. So, if you are unable to contain your charging to Super Off-Peak hours or simply don’t drive enough to offset a $16 basic charge, this plan may be a good fit.

This rate applies to both home and EV charging electricity usage, so it’s worth being mindful of the 67 cents per kWh On-Peak pricing in the summer.

EV-TOU-2 notable features:

  • No basic monthly charge
  • Higher cost per kWh
  • Rates apply to home usage and EV charging

Schedule EV-TOU

Shown in green above, the EV-TOU plan features the same rates as the EV-TOU-2 plan. However, it has no basic charge and requires separate meters for EV charging and home usage.

So, if you have low household consumption and are unable to avoid peak hours, you can charge your EV and home on separate meters to take advantage of your baseline allowance credit for household usage from 4 to 9 pm.

EV-TOU notable features:

  • No basic monthly charge
  • Higher cost per kWh
  • EV charging on a separate meter and plan from household usage

Schedule TOU-ELEC

Shown in blue, the TOU-ELEC plan is for SDG&E customers that have an EV, battery storage, and/or heat pump for water or space heating/cooling. This plan features the lowest On-Peak and Off-Peak rates, in exchange for higher Super Off-Peak rates and a $16 monthly basic charge.

While it’s still most economical to consume electricity during Super Off-Peak hours, it won’t hurt as bad to run electric heat pumps for space and water heating during daylight hours.

TOU-ELEC notable features:

  • $16 basic monthly charge
  • Lower cost per kWh
  • Rates apply to home usage and EV charging
  • Also available to customers with battery storage and/or electric heat pump for water or space heating



SDG&E electric rates for solar owners

SDG&E customers with solar systems can be split into two groups: Solar owners with Net Energy Metering (NEM 1.0 or NEM 2.0) and solar owners with the Solar Billing Plan (affectionately referred to as NEM 3.0).

SDG&E customers that already owned solar panels or submitted an interconnection agreement on or before April 15, 2023 are in the Net Energy Metering group. These solar owners can choose which rate schedule to be on and receive near-retail value for the excess solar production they export onto the grid.

Solar owners on the Solar Billing Plan (who submitted their interconnection applications after April 15, 2023) are billed under the EV-TOU-5 rate schedule and are compensated for their solar exports based on their value to the grid at each hour throughout the year. On average, Solar Billing export rates are much lower than the retail price of electricity.

SDG&E solar plans at a glance

Net Energy Metering Solar Billing Plan
Interconnection application date On or before April 15, 2023 After April 15, 2023
Rate schedule Customers choice EV-TOU-5
Export value Retail rate at time of export Based on value to energy grid at time of export and change by the hour, day, and month

Clearly, Net Energy Metering is the more solar-friendly billing plan. Unfortunately, it’s no longer available.

However, SDG&E customers can still drastically reduce their electricity costs with home solar under the Solar Billing Plan.

Here’s how.

How to get the most value out of SDG&E’s Solar Billing Plan

The key to lowering your electricity costs in the Solar Billing Plan is to pair solar panels with battery storage to avoid interacting with the grid as much as possible. Let’s explore why battery storage is so crucial.

The chart below shows the difference between the price of electricity in the EV-TOU-5 (import rates) versus the value of excess solar electricity (export rates) throughout a summer day.

TOU-5 vs NEM 3.0 August 2024

You’ll notice that the import rates (in pink) are usually much higher than the export rates (in purple), aside from certain high-value windows in August and September.

For example, between 10 am and 1 pm – peak production hours for home solar – solar exports are worth less than 6 cents per kWh. However, from 4-9 pm, when solar production is fading and household consumption is increasing, electricity costs over 65 cents per kWh to import.

So, with a solar-only system, you’re buying electricity at 40-65 cents per kWh and selling it for less than 6 cents per kWh. – which obviously isn’t a great deal. But, by storing the cheap electricity produced during the day in a battery, you can avoid buying electricity at SDG&E’s incredibly high rates altogether.

Better yet, there are new “consumption-only” batteries specifically designed for this purpose that come at a substantially lower cost than traditional backup batteries. However, “consumption-only” batteries may not be right for everyone because they do not provide backup power during grid outages.

Solar and battery vs SDG&E grid

Let’s take a typical SDG&E customer that uses 700 kWh of electricity per month or 8,400 kWh per year and is not especially impacted by grid outages and can do without backup capabilities.

To offset 100% of their electricity consumption, they’d need a 5.3 kW solar system, which at $4.5 per Watt would cost $23,850, or $16,695 after claiming the 30% tax credit.

To shift that solar production from day to night, they’d need a 6 kWh consumption-only battery, which comes at a gross cost of around $8,500 and a net cost of $5,950 after claiming the 30% tax credit – and possibly lower if the homeowner claims the Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) rebate.

That brings the total cost of the solar and battery system to $22,645. This system can be expected to produce 195,000 kWh over 25 years, bringing the cost per kWh to around 11.6 cents.

Gross cost Net cost (after 30% tax credit)
5.3 kW solar system $23,850 $16,695
6 kWh consumption-only battery $8,500 $5,950
Total cost $32,350 $22,645
Lifetime production 195,000 kWh 195,000 kWh
Cost per kWh 17 cents per kWh 11.6 cents per kWh

Solar and battery prices will vary based on market factors.

Now, in any SDG&E rate schedule, you’re paying a minimum of 16 cents per kWh and up to 84 cents during On-Peak pricing. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average utility rate in the San Diego metro area was 47.7 cents per kWh in November 2023, so we’ll use that figure and assume very conservative rate increases of 3% per year.

The chart below shows the expected cost of buying a solar and battery system (including the $16 monthly basic charge) versus buying the same amount of electricity from the SDG&E grid over 20 years.

chart depicting the cost of buying solar and battery versus SDGE electricity over 20 years

As you can see, the energy cost savings potential is tremendous. And even in the unlikely scenario that you need to replace or add a battery after just 10 years, you’ll already have saved more than $20,000 by then, which is many times greater than the expected cost of batteries 10 years from now.

On the surface, Solar Billing seems like a sour deal. But, by simply adding battery storage and minimizing your interaction with the grid, SDG&E customers can drastically reduce their electricity costs in the short and long term.

Start your solar project today

With some of the highest electricity prices in the US, SDG&E customers have a golden opportunity to reduce their energy costs with home solar and battery systems – even under the Solar Billing Plan.

Connect with a solar.com Energy Advisor to design a system and get quotes from our network of trusted San Diego installers that offer backup and consumption-only battery options!

SDG&E electric rates FAQs

What are SDG&E electric rates?

SDG&E electric rates range from 12 cents to 68 cents per kWh, depending on the pricing plan, month, and time of day. The average price of electricity in San Diego was 47.7 cents per kWh as of November 2023, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, which was the highest rate of any US metro.

What are the cheaper hours for SDG&E?

The cheapest time for SDG&E customers to use grid electricity is during the Super Off-Peak time-of-use periods of midnight to 6 pm on weekdays and midnight to 2 pm on weekends and holidays. The most expensive time is during the On-Peak hours of 4 to 9 pm.

These pricing windows only apply to customers with time-of-use (TOU) rate plans and do not apply to customers on the Standard-DR rate schedule.

How can I reduce my SDG&E electric bill?

The most effective way to reduce your SDG&E electric bill is to install a solar and battery system. SDG&E’s high electric rates present a massive opportunity for energy cost savings, even under the new NEM 3.0 Solar Billing Plan.

Connect with an Energy Advisor to explore your savings potential with solar.


Return to

How Do Solar Panels Lower Your Electric Bill?

⇠ Return

See how much solar panels cost in your area.

Please enter a valid zip code.

Please enter a valid zip code.

Zero Upfront Cost. Best Price Guaranteed.


Increase Your Home Property Value

Do solar panels increase home value? Energy savings and environmental benefits are often the two main reasons for going solar, but a sneaky third reason...

Learn More

Gain Energy Independence

The concept of gaining energy independence with solar and battery storage is exciting, but what exactly does that mean, and what does it take to...

Learn More

5 Ways That Solar Energy Benefits the Environment

It’s no secret that renewable energy from solar panels has a smaller environmental impact than energy produced from fossil fuels. But exactly how is generating...

Learn More

Disadvantages of Solar Energy

By now, I hope you can agree that the advantages of going solar are so enticing that they far outweigh any potential disadvantages. However, just...

Learn More

Solar Panel Scams

When done right, going solar can substantially reduce your carbon footprint and your energy costs. However, this rare double-whammy of benefits also makes the residential...

Learn More

Time of Use Rates - Your TOU Rates Guide

Time-of-Use Rates (TOU) were introduced by many electricity providers back in the early 2010s. However, over a decade later, most homeowners are still unaware of...

Learn More