If most of your work or school day is spent outside of your home and thus your energy use at its peak at night or on the weekends, it’s time to consider switching to a time-of-use (TOU) energy plan. In contrast with standard electricity plans which charge customers the same electricity rate regardless of the time of day or demand, time-variant plans determine their electricity costs by the level of demand that is on the grid during any time of day. Residential customers are increasingly trying to save money on their energy bill by waiting to use large appliances or turn up the air conditioning until later in the day, when a decrease in demand on the grid may result in lower off-peak rates. Payless Power offers some insights into TOU plans and how you can save money on your energy bill during off-peak electricity hours.
Peak Hours, Partial-Peak Hours & Off-Peak Hours
While the times may vary by energy company, those providers that offer TOU energy plans will set peak hours, off-peak hours and partial-peak hours, each with their own set electricity rates. Peak hours occur when demand on the grid is the highest and the electricity rates are the most expensive, off-peak hours occur when demand is lower and electricity rates are cheaper, and partial-peak hours somewhere in between the two times.
To give an example of how these times might be set, peak hours generally occur during the busiest times of business days, which is typically around 1 to 7 PM. Partial-peak hours are cushioned around these times and might occur from 10AM to 1PM and 7PM to 9PM. This leaves off-peak hours for the quietest times of the business day from 9PM to 10AM, when people tend to log off and spend time with their loved ones or get some rest for the coming day. Learn about different ways you can save money by optimizing your energy use towards off-peak hours.
3 Tips For Saving Money During Off-Peak Hours
If you are able to sign up with a time-of-use energy plan, there are many ways to lower your electricity bill simply by limiting your electricity use during peak hours and waiting to use your appliances and other energy draining sources until the off-peak hours of the day. With TOU energy plans, you should always aim to take advantage of the lower electric rates that electric providers charge during the off-peak time of day. Follow these three tips for saving money on your electricity bill during off-peak hours.
1. Don’t Leave Electricity Running When You’re Not Home
There is no need to waste electricity when no one is home, particularly during peak hours. Make a habit of turning off the lights and powering down electronics before you leave for work to help save electricity. Even if you are mindful about powering your electronics down all the time, these devices could still be costing you if they remain plugged in due to vampire energy, which can account for as much as 20% of the energy bill for your home. To avoid unnecessary energy use, unplug your electronics, and use a power strip to make this even more convenient of a task. Some devices you should be mindful of unplugging are televisions, printers, and video game consoles.
2. Use A Programmable Thermostat
Heating and cooling is one of the largest expenses that racks up electricity bills. By investing in a programmable thermostat, you can program the temperature to automatically go up or down according to peak, partial-peak and off-peak hours. For example, in the summertime, you can set your thermostat to be above 70 degrees at the time you leave for work since no one will be in your home. By the time you get home from work, the sun will have lowered and you can program the thermostat to lower by a couple degrees so that you feel more comfortable. Before bedtime, feel free to splurge a little and program the thermostat to lower by a couple more degrees since you will be charged a lower rate for electricity during off-peak hours.
3. Wait To Use Large Appliances Until Before You Go to Bed
Large appliances are often the biggest culprits for raising electric bills and more often than not we end up needing to use them every day. To take advantage of getting cheaper electricity at night with an off-peak rate, wait until before bed to run the dishwasher – it’s not like you will need any clean dishes until breakfast time the next morning anyhow! If possible, wait to do laundry until the evening as well to optimize the amount of money you can save.
Save Money By Using Electricity During Off Peak Hours
Taking advantage of the off-peak electricity rates offered by time-of-use energy plans can save you a great deal on your electricity bill, particularly if you have the ability to limit your residential energy use during the day and can use the bulk of your energy at night. Ask your provider about TOU energy plans so you can start saving money during off-peak electricity hours today!