I understand that some electric utilities offer a program where you get a
new meter installed that takes the time of day into consideration allowing
you to save money if you don't use a lot of electricty during peak (high
Anyone who is trying this, are you saving much?
my dad in phoenix saves about 1/3rd of his bill.
it requires some adjustments, cant do laundry or heat water during
phohibited hours, cool house off a lot early in day, then it slowly
rises during prohobited hours, stuff like this, they live on a fixed
income and have adjusted to its rules........
he is very happy with the savings
Our electric company, in FL, has a program that lets them shut off water
heater and AC during peak hours. I have never really noticed that it is
off, and don't recall the amount of time it shuts down for - 15 min?
Our usage is down, but rates have increased a good deal, so who knows
how much it saves. We have a service contract for all of our major
applicances, including AC, and the serviceman keeps telling me we would
save significantly if we got a new fridge. Hubby won't go for it yet,
but it'll die someday. We got a new AC about three years ago. During
recent hot weather, it just wasn't getting the temp down, so I called
the service co. He said that when the AC was installed, the ?baffle
that takes in fresh air was left wide open and that it was right above
the hot air exhaust. He closed down the thingy so it didn't take in so
much fresh air and we are a bit cooler - now, if hubby would leave the
thermostat at 78, life would be perfect :o)
You can't measure your electric use by it's cost any more than you can
measure your car's gas use by the price per gallon. Last week I spent $35
to fill my tank. Today it was $43 for the same quantity. It isn't taking
me any further this week than it did last week but cost 33% more.
Check your electric usage - the KWH on your bill. Depending on where you
live this will go up and down during the year as you move from warm to cool
months, and longer to shorter days. I'm betting my electric use will be
somewhat higher next week than it was last as the time 'falls back' and it
is dark at 5pm rather than 6pm - the extra hour of light in the morning
isn't going to save me much since I'll still need the lights when I get
ready for work in the morning.
I have it. The house came with a TOU (time of use) meter when I
bought it. But the benefits or costs depend upon your usage
pattern and the local rate structure for TOU.
Since you have given us information about neither, you really
cannot draw any conclusions from anything that we say.
The local utility just installed this type of meter on my house. The
politicians claim you can save money. However, it is just a rip-off, you
don't save money, it is a means to charge you more for electricity that you
use during peak times. This means higher cost at daybreak and supper time,
moderate cost during daytime, and the same cost you are paying now, at
night. The only way to not pay more (not save money) is to do everything at
night after dark, when air conditioning needs are less and businesses have
It is _not_ a "rip-off" at all. It will, in the long run, end up saving
significant costs as load is balanced more evenly and the utility can at
least defer, if not eliminate entirely, more generation capacity for the
You can choose your convenience or to minimize your outlay at your own
preference as to which is more valuable to you.
What you can't do is have the convenience _and_ avoid at least some of
the added burden that convenience costs...
Except if you have the old meter you pay a standard rate, if you get the new
meter you pay the standard rate at night, and the inflated rate during the
day, how is this saving money for the new meter owner which the politicians
We already defer much power usage to off-peak hours as we are retired, but
our electricity bill is still quite high because some usage cannot be moved
from daytime hours.
And it also assumes people can and will shift their load usage
times. Like not having dinner at 6 PM or not using the air
conditioning during peak times, when it's hot out. I guess you're
supposed to just put the AC on at night?
Many of the biggest loads, heating/cooling, you don't have much
control over when it's used. I guess you could choose when to run
the dishwasher or washer/dryer, but I bet most of that is not at peak
So, if they raise the rates on peak time in conjuction with this
scheme, it sounds like what EXT is saying could very well happen.
You wind up paying more. Which is OK with some of these kooks,
because they want to drive the price of all energy higher to save the
Here in NJ, they put a tax on all electric bills to pay for undefined
usage for renewable resources, energy reduction etc. A few years
later, during an audit, it's discovered they have $100mil sitting in a
checking account, with no financial controls. Some of the money was
spent to hire consultants who a year before were working for the state
Public Utilities Commission and similar insider dealing. There was
no clear control on who was authorized to spend the money or where it
went. Some of the money was spent so folks could buy a $60K solar
electric system for their homes and have the rest of us pay for $40K
of it through this program. Great idea, tax the poor to pay for a
rich mans toy, that has no hope of economic efficiency on it's own.
So, yeah, I hear what EXT is saying.
To some extent, true. But, it is still a real cost to the utility that
they have to have generation to meet whatever peak demand is and if
there is no penalty associated w/ demand there is no incentive for
anybody to control their peak usage.
Given the high cost of new generation these days, not to mention the
likelihood of even getting permitting isn't guaranteed, leveling demand
is one way to ensure they meet their fiduciary responsibility to keep
the lights on.
"No pain, no gain"
I seriously doubt that your utility company is surcharging peak use, but I
supose it's possible. You can easily verify this by checking the tarrif rate for
people who do not have demand metering.
As Ray Bradbury coined: TANSTAAFL - There ain't no such thing as a free lunch.
Two things are going on here.
All those conservation programs (energy audits, second meters, subsidized
insulation, etc) have to be paid for some way. Most Public Utility agencies tell
their utilities to raise the price for everyone to pay the cost of the program.
What really pisses people off is when they are so sucessful that the utility
asks for a rate increase because their business has decreased.
The second is that the cost to your utility for peak load far exceeds what they
pay for base load. By cutting peak demand or charging you for peak use, they are
billing you closer to what it costs them to generate or buy electricity at that
time of day.
"Tell me what I should do, Annie."
"Stay. Here. Forever." - Life On Mars
I've had that for years. Inevitably, 2/3 of my usage is at lower cost.
This is because the weekends are at the lower rate, of course I don't
know if that's how your plan works. So anything that runs all the time,
say, the refrigerator, is at the lower rate for 108 of the 168 hours in a
I run my pool filter at night and try to do laundry on the weekends. Set my
dishwasher to start in the middle of the night ... if it's convenient. It's
big deal and you do save with no effort.
Yes, I have one. It is called a "Time of Use" meter. My electric bill last
month was $40.00*.
I get less expensive electricity in the middle of the night.
So I run my freezer only from 10 PM to 6 AM (off peak hours, lowest rate.)
Water heater on only from 5:15 AM to 6:00 AM. on "shower days", then from
5:40 AM to 6:00 AM. on non-shower days. (Take shower every other day.) Hot
water for shower in morning (1 person), then still have warm water for rest
of day. (A water heater can be 30% of an electric bill). There is a
"by-pass" switch on the water heater timer. So on those hot summer days when
a shower a day is needed or two showers in one day, I can run the water
*I also have compact fluorescent bulbs everywhere. And power strips for
everything electronic like TV's, stereo, computer, microwave, etc. I turn
off the power strips when these things are not in use. I turn off lights
except for rooms being used. Wood stove for heat.
"JohnR66" wrote in message
Let me give you some example TOU (time of use) rates:
This is northern California, where the rate structure is
actually rather complicated, so I am just going to give the
the difference between the TOU rates and the "flat" rates.
For the TOU rate schedule that I am on (yes there is more than
one), "peak" time is M-F noon to 6pm (30 hours / week).
During the summer time (May-Oct), "peak" rates are 16.4 cents
more than flat rates.
Off-peak, the rates are 4.325 cents less than flat rates,
so on the average (if you had a light burning 24/7), the TOU
rates are .627 cents cheaper than flat, and the penalty for consuming
during peak instead of off-peak is 20.7 cents.
During the winter, both peak and off-peak are cheaper than flat rates.
TOU works in your favor if you are not home during the weekdays
or have utility interactive photovoltaic systems.
It works against you if you run airconditioning during weekdays.
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