Adding heat strips to HVAC sys

My heatpump is already backed up by NG. It also switches over to NG when outside temp is about 40F, so why add heatstrips. Rumor has it that in the next couple of years we are going to net metering of our electrical use. This means nightime rates will be around 2 or 3 cent per KWH. This would make electricity cheaper than NG. NG would still be the cheapest to use during cold days when its not practical to use the heatpump so I want to keep it especially since I already have it. Are there existing Tsats that could control a system like this that t would select the proper heat source according to time of day and outside temperature.
Jimmie
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Why tie it into your heatpump? If you put the heatstrips on a separate thermostat that's fed off a timer and program your heatpump correctly you wouldn't need to tie them together.
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Since at least parts of the country has gone to net metering I was wondering if something was already commercially available to control this type of 3 source system. My guess is that NG would be the cheapest to use during peak electrical demand with the heatpump being more economical during late evening if its not too cold out side with straight electrical heating late night/ early morning. I can see that heating your home economically is going to take a very smart control system. Cooling it is going to be a nightmare involving some serious lifestyle changes to remain affordable.
Jimmie
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Do you really believe that electricity will ever be that cheap. Rates are not local, it is what your utility or provider has to pay for it when competing with other utilities. So your rates will be comparable to others, even to mine, which is not cheap. We used to have the cheapest rates in North America, now we are in the most expensive category. We were constantly told that "time of day meters" would give us cheaper electricity. Now that it is a reality, rates have gone up. Nighttime rates are close to what they were all the time with daytime, peak time rates much higher. So basically, what you are paying now, is what you will pay in off hours, the prime time rates will be much more expensive.
This is the same garbage that was spewed about deregulation of natural gas and electricity. It did not get cheaper. I used to work for a natural gas utility, when it contracted for gas it would purchase gas for the next 20 years, this gave stability and predictability to the prices. Now with customers moving back and forth from provider to provider no one can predict their customer's needs so the gas is all purchased now on the spot market, which is premium priced and fluctuates daily and according to season. So much for cheaper gas. Meddling with what works often creates chaos.
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Electricity rates vary *widely* across the country, for many reasons.

But they would have gone up more! (see: "jobs created or saved") ;-)

You're contradicting what you said above. Rates *do* vary across the country.

Anyone in the energy business that doesn't buy energy contracts is either stupid or is in Kalifornika.
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I'm not sure that resistive will ever be cheaper than ng. I also suspect that your air handler is a ng furnace with a A coil added to it. There is no place for the addition of heat strips in that set up. It's not like a regular heat pump air handler that has a section for heat strips. You also do not presently have enough electricity at the unit to run heat strips. Once you solve that then I am also not aware of any controls for a 3 way residential unit. But you could solve the control problem with a timer and a relay. Run the line that activates the furnace through that timer/relay and then direct the output to either the ng furnace or the resistive heat.
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