The way free nights and weekends electricity plans are advertised make them sounds like an ideal way to save on your monthly electric bill, especially if you can cram all of your high-energy consumption chores in at night. But, do these plans really have no strings attached? Before you make the switch, check out these common myths about free nights electricity plans.
Before discussing the myths of free nights and weekends electricity plans, it is important to understand why companies offer these kinds of plans. By offering free nights and weekends, electricity providers incentivize consumers to use electricity during off-peak hours. By encouraging off-peak electricity use, it helps power companies avoid outages and equalize energy usage across all times of day. By normalizing usage and demand, it keeps prices and services stable. The concept of free nights and weekends isn’t a bad one.
However, the ways that these plans are advertised to the public don’t always paint the full picture of the cost implications associated with these kinds of plans. That’s why Payless Power set out to debunk some of the popular myths associated with free nights and weekends electricity plans. Be sure to consider the information below when considering a free nights and weekends plan.
Myth #1: Free means free.
Sure, free nights and weekends electricity plans list your price per kilowatt hour as free within certain timeframes. However, in order to make a true cost comparison, compare the cost per kilowatt hour outside of the free timeframes. Often times, the cost per kilowatt hour is much higher during the hours that you still have to pay for electricity than plans that charge you during all hours of the day. For example, some comparisons have shown that price per kilowatt hour charges for free nights and weekends plans can be as high as 17.7 cents, whereas the average price per kilowatt hour for other types of plans were between 8.4 and 14.40 cents. So, even though you don’t pay for electricity on electricity on nights and weekends, you pay more for the electricity you use the rest of the week.
Myth #2: Free nights and weekends plans make sense for everyone.
Marketing materials for free nights and weekends plans have stated that between 30% and 40% of electricity is used on night and weekends. This statistic leads people to believe that by switching to free nights and weekends, they can save 30% to 40% on their total electric bill. However, as we learned with myth #1, these savings don’t translate because you are often paying more for the electricity you use during weekdays. Additionally, if 30-40% of electricity is used on nights and weekends, that means 60-70% is used during weekdays. If you and your family spend a lot of time out of your home on weekends, or go to bed before 10:00 p.m., it is likely that you won’t see true cost savings from switching plans.
Myth #3: These plans automatically equal cost savings.
As we discussed in myths #1 and #2, true cost savings with free nights and weekends plans are not as high as some providers lead you to believe. In some cases, the higher price per kilowatt hour actually leads to a higher bill than traditional or pay-as-you-go electricity plans. Additionally, these plans often have long contract periods and charge high cancellation fees that can ultimately trap consumers into paying a higher price for longer periods of time. Additionally, if you don’t have a good idea of what your electricity usage is and when it happens, it can be difficult to make adjustments that take advantage of free nights and weekends.
So, is it worth it?
All in all, free nights and weekends plans can save you money in the right situation, but almost never save you as much as you think. In some cases, consumers have spent between $700 and $1,000 more per year on electricity after being locked in to a long-term, high-energy price contract. Before getting locked into a contract, be sure to read the fine print of the plan you are signing up for so you completely understand the cost implications.
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