Friday, December 6, 2013

Switching to an at-time-of-use electricity rate

In yesterday's post I mentioned one of the steps we've taken this week to debt-free living was switching to an at-time-of-use (A-TOU) rate with our electricity company.

The reason we switched to an A-TOU rate is because it allows us to shift our electricity usage to a lower price period (Off-peak). Our usage is billed on-peak, shoulder (interim) and off-peak. Here is a look at these times and their rates with this service:

On-peak 7:00am - 12:00pm and 4:00pm - 8:00pm   $.105288/kWh

Shoulder 12:00pm - 4:00pm   $.091088/kWh

Off-peak 8:00pm - 7:00am   $.046007/kWh (Saturdays, Sundays and holidays are also designated as off-peak)

With our previous Residential Service Rate, we were paying $.068920/kWh no matter the day or time of day. An A-TOU rate basically allows us to control the cost of our electricity.

A-TOU works best for our family and our lifestyle for many reasons.

1. My husband leaves for work between 4:45 and 5:00 in the morning. He is able to take his showers early in the morning or late at night when the rate is off-peak.

2. I am up early with my husband and am able to do laundry, run a load of dishes through the dishwasher and take a shower before the rate switches to on-peak. I can also prepare the makings for dinner, bake, etc. during this time. For example, this morning I toasted bread pieces in the oven to make a crock-pot stuffing for tonight's dinner.

3. We watch very little to no television during the day. The television usually gets turned on between 7:00 and 8:00 at night , but we're all usually so tired (plus the kids go to bed around 7:30) that we don't really watch much during the week. Most of our television viewing - er, hubby's television viewing - is on is football season! The plus side of that is Sundays are designated off-peak, all day!

4. Any bulk cooking I do is done on the weekends or after the kids go to bed. This is also when I make hubby's breakfast sandwiches for the week.

5. Our woodstove is our primary heat source. We do have oil heat as well, but it gets used very occasionally, and typically at night if we're too tired to stoke the fire. With me being pregnant, I usually get up at least once in the middle of the night, so I throw a piece of wood in. In short, little to no electricity is being used here.

6.  We have a lot of natural light that comes into our house. We don't use lights during the day.

7. I unplug everything! Yes, I'm one of those people. It's been habit for years. It drives my husband nuts sometimes, but I know he appreciates my efforts to lower our electric bill :)

The real test will be when our new electricity bill arrives! I will definitely be posting about that, so stay tuned!

In my next post on saving money on electricity, I will share about how we recently switched to a new electricity supplier.

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