If you struggle to pay your electric bill I feel your pain. I just did something I should have done about 7 years ago. I switched to my electric company’s Time of Use plan. With this plan electricity is different prices at different times of the day. From May to October electricity more expensive between 1:00 and 8:00 pm and cheaper the rest of the time. From November to April electricity is more expensive from 5:00 to 9:00 both am and pm, and then cheaper for the rest of the time. The weekends are lower priced all year-long.
My electric company has a nice little graphic that shows you how much you would have spent on each plan. According to them we will save about $150 a year by being on the time of use plan. It works out to about $20 a month in the summer and $3 a month in the winter. Keep in mind I live in Phoenix. So we have big cooling costs but almost no heating costs. Summer is our expensive time, energy wise.
I took this graphic at its word and made the switch. However, they told me that they have to put a special meter on my house before they can do the time of use plan. Which means they don’t know when we are using our electricity with the meter we have. The graphic on their website must be based on averages than our actual usage. So what our real savings will be is still unknown.
What has stopped me from this in the past
The main thing that stopped me was that I’m also on the what they call the “budget billing” plan. On this plan they take your average usage for the whole year and divide it by 12. That way you pay the same electric bill every month. This makes budgeting so much easier! My highest electric bill last year was in August at a whopping $362. My lowest bill came in March at $101. But each month when I make my budget I don’t have to guess what the electric bill is going to be because it’s the same $235 every single month. When I learned that I could keep my “budget billing” and use the time of use plan I started looking into it a lot more.
Another thing was that I’m home all day with the kids. We have a TV, computer, and air conditioner running all day long. I didn’t think the time of use plan would make much difference. I thought it was for people who went to work all day. But now that I’m looking at it the cheap time is mostly during the day. So I’ve been missing out.
I also didn’t want to be bothered with trying to time my usage with certain parts of the day. I just want to do when I want to do it! But really, we do our big electric using at non-peak hours anyways. We run the dishwasher at night before bed. We do laundry on the weekends. I already don’t let my kids watch TV before school. So I think if we just keep doing our thing we should be ok.
Does your eclectic company offer special plans like this? What have your experiences been?