Using the New TOU Rate Zone Feature

Great that the Sense team has implemented TOU rate zones!

I just set mine up and wanted to know from the Sense team whether I am using this new feature as intended…

So far, I have created 6 TOU Zones for the coming year:

  • Winter Peak 2020 - 4:00pm to 9:00pm
  • Winter Day 2020 - 12:00am to 3:59pm
  • Winter Evening 2020 - 9:01PM to 11:59pm
  • Summer Peak 2021 - 4:00pm to 9:00pm
  • Summer Day 2021 - 12:00am to 3:59pm
  • Summer Evening 2021 - 9:01pm to 12:00am

I am on PG&E’s “TOU C” rate, which is a seven day a week plan with peak pricing from 4:00pm to 9:00pm. Summers run from May through October, and Winters run from November through April.

I am assuming that because rates change from year to year, that I will need to set up TOU zones (as structured above) every year for summer and winter time windows. Am I correct?

It also appears that I cannot create two simple windows of “Peak” and “Non-Peak” because my non-peak crosses the midnight boundary. Am I also correct here?

I am a solar producer, so my rates are always going to fall into my baseline charges. I wonder for those who are NOT solar producers, how they should handle charges within their baseline usage versus above their baseline usage.

Anyway, great that Sense has implemented TOU! It will be interesting to play around with the next few days/weeks/months!

Here is a screenshot of how I set up my PG&E “TOU C” rate schedule:


Your assumptions and actions all sound correct. The recurring option for Rate Zones should automatically create new similar rate zones with the same hours and dates and prices in the future. And yes, you did things correctly splitting off-Peak into two different Rate Zones, since it is split into two different zones within the same day. You can also give both Off-Peak Rate Zones the same name if you want.

Adding to this, we’re going to be releasing some small additions to ToU in the coming weeks to help with rate zone entry that should make the process easier. As @kevin1 mentioned, your zones look correct on my end as well. Glad to hear this will be useful for you!

To add to this, did you find the available resources around Time of Use set-up to be helpful? Anything that you got stuck on or weren’t sure of based on your bill?

Thanks @kevin1 and @JustinAtSense

Seems to work well for me… If you are looking for feedback, I just have a couple of comments (none of which are critical):

  1. It wasn’t completely clear that I was going to create unique TOU periods bounded by precise month/day/year dates… But it became obvious and apparent with the app form, so no worries there.

So what is the vision here? After years of usage, will I have a bunch of previous TOU periods in a “historic” section? And will those prices be maintained for historic reporting purposes?

  1. As I mentioned, my TOU has a baseline amount that gives me an $0.08+/kWh credit for any usage at or below my baseline. Not sure how (or if) you will account for this billing model complexity. Might be more trouble than it’s worth… But I thought I would mention it in case it mattered to you…

As an update to this feature, we rolled out a small patch with some enhancements to help the rate entry process. You can learn more here:

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Thanks for the heads up… I looked at my installed app, and it’s still on build 1515.

When I go to the app store, it doesn’t show that an update is available… I guess I’ll just wait and see when iOS detects the update…

Typically, these patches take a few hours to deploy to the App Store. You should see it update before end of day.

Apologies that I missed this question - as you can imagine, we ran into dozens of different ToU billing models and tried to account for the majority with this solution. This release/feature gets us a lot closer to accurately representing billing costs for customers on ToU plans and we hope to be able to continue to add to the feature over time to get users even closer to what their utility bill reads :slight_smile: . Definitely add any missing functionalities you’d like to see to the Product Wishlist.