If you work outside of your home during the day and tend to use more electricity at night or on the weekends, it is certainly beneficial to see if your utility company offers time-of-use (TOU) energy plans so that you can take advantage of lower rates. These time-variant pricing plans are becoming more and more popular with electricity providers as residential customers are seeking to save money on electricity costs by waiting to run the dishwasher or other large appliance until off-peak hours. Payless Power offers some insights into TOU plans and how your electric rate could be cheaper at night.
Get Cheaper Electricity at Night with TOU Energy Plans
Generally speaking, standard energy plans charge customers with the same electricity rate to power their homes regardless of the time of day or demand. However, residential electricity customers can take advantage of TOU energy plans where electricity costs are determined by the level of demand that is on the grid at any time of day.
Peak Hours, Partial-Peak Hours & Off-Peak Hours
While the times may vary by electricity company, providers that offer TOU energy plans will set peak hours, off-peak hours and partial-peak hours with 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.
Tips to Help You Save Money During Off-Peak Hours
If you are able to sign up with a time of use energy plan, there are some tried and true opportunities for you to lower your electricity bill simply by limiting to 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.
Turn Off The Lights & Electronics When You Leave for Work
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. Remedying the situation is as simple as unplugging your electronics – 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.
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.
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.