Previously we discussed the pros and cons of the available utility use rates. In that post we mentioned that while none of the options are perfect we do have a favorite, so here’s
6 Reasons Time of Use Rates Are The Best Option
- Time of Use (TOU) Rates will lower your bill.
With some simple adjustments to your electricity use habits, you would save a significant amount of money with TOU rates versus standard consumption rates.
- A true Time of Use Rate system wouldn’t charge any unwarranted fees.
Utilities are notorious for trying to increase fixed charges and fees. With a true TOU rate, you are only charged for the amount of electricity you consumed (based on when you used it) with no extraneous charges.
- Time of Use Rates rates encourage the use of solar.
The current system for most utilities across the country charges a “fixed rate,” meaning you are charged that rate regardless of the amount of electricity you use. Without these fixed charges, TOU rates can encourage the use of solar, especially if the peak rates are during daylight hours.
- Time of Use Rates can be available to everybody, whether you’re a business owner or a resident.
Additionally, in most states, TOU rates are already available on a voluntary basis.
- Time of Use Rates are good for the consumer and the utility.
If implemented properly, TOU rates are directly related to when the system (e.g., the grid) experiences the most cost. By changing your behaviors, you’re not only saving money but also helping the entire system.
- There’s only one downside.
Many don’t know of – or have not seen the benefits of – TOU rates. As such, consumer education would be the greatest barrier for getting TOU rates off the ground. Consumers would need to be educated on how they can actually save money with TOU rates – because, unfortunately, you would not be able to switch to TOU rates and have your bill magically decrease. Saving money with TOU rates would require some work on the part of the consumer. Here are a few things that you would have to do to save more money with TOU rates:
- Plug devices such as computers, televisions, game
- consoles, and printers into power strips and turn off the switch when these devices are not in use during peak demand hours.
- Program your AC/heater to not run as much during peak hours.
- Use your washer and dryer during non-peak times.
- Install automatic timers to only run your water heater during non-peak times (trust us, you’ll still have plenty of hot water).
- Use solar during peak demand hours!
With some careful alteration of your electricity habits, most consumers would save hundreds of dollars a year on electricity with TOU rates compared to standard consumption charges. TOU rates are good for utilities and your electricity bill – and all that’s needed is to get the word out.