“Energy is one of those products that you use first, then pay for later,” he said. “That means you have control over how much you use. “You can do little things. Turn the air conditioning on and the lights off. Make sure the drapes are closed in the morning so the house doesn’t heat up during the day.” The PUC approved a series of three Edison rate increases this year totaling as much as 55 percent, depending on usage. The hikes were retroactive to January, though Edison agreed to spread the payments over the year. The revenue is needed to expand and renovate the state’s power system, Edison says.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! After summer electric bills skyrocketed following a January rate hike and a July heat wave, Southern California Edison is postponing a previously approved rate hike until the first of next year. The four-month grace period does not apply to Southern California Edison’s business customers, which include schools, hospitals and other institutions. Edison provides electricity to the Antelope and Santa Clarita valleys, where July and August temperatures topped the 100-degree market on more than 40 days. “We had heard from customers they were experiencing challenges because of the extremely hot summer,” Edison spokesman Marlon Walker said Friday. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhy these photogenic dumplings are popping up in Los AngelesThe increase applies only to medium- to high-use customers and was approved by the state Public Utilities Commission, which also allowed for the postponement. The rate hike that took effect in January left rates the same for lower-use customers, but raised them 34 percent for midrange use and 57 percent for high-range use. The rate hike delayed from Aug. 1 until Jan. 1 will again leave rates the same for lower-use customers, but will raise them an additional 2.2 percent for miduse customers, 12.8 percent for higher-use customers and 52 percent for the highest-use category. Overall, it is a 6 percent increase, Edison says. Walker said Edison pays more for energy on high-use days. Thus, the utility urges customers to conserve and to avoid using power during the hottest part of the day.