Time-of-Use Rate Option - Carolina Country
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June 2022

Member Dale Hall of Ocean Isle Beach.

The Time-of-Use (TOU) rate option offers you a lower rate for electricity when demand on our system is low, balanced with a higher rate when demand on our system is high. You save money by shifting your energy consumption to times when our membership is using less. You’re also helping us reduce peak demand, which reduces our wholesale power costs and benefits us all. Here’s one member household’s experience.

"It sounded like it (TOU) might work for me and my wife, so we signed up. On average, we’ve been saving about 20 percent on our electric bill each year ever since."

“Around three years ago I saw the Time-of-Use rate option on the website and decided to do some research because I’m always up for new ways to save. I talked with James Green at BEMC about it, and it turns out he had been on it for a while. He told us how he made it work for him and said that if we could be diligent in shifting our usage away from peak times, and adjusted our thermostat by a few degrees during peak, we’d lower our bill. It sounded like it might work for me and my wife, so we signed up. On average, we’ve been saving about 20 percent on our electric bill each year ever since. When I first told my neighbors they could hardly believe it, they thought I was kidding them! But it really is working for us. It’s not for everybody, but if you can consistently do some simple but important things, you might save money.

“Start by knowing when rates are the highest, which, in the summer, are weekdays from 2 p.m. – 6 p.m. Then, install a programmable thermostat, and program it to adjust the temperature by three to four degrees during that timeframe. Next, put a timer on your hot water heater, and set it not to cycle during peak hours as well. Finally, put off doing laundry and running the dishwasher until after 10 p.m., when rates are the very cheapest. We also put off cooking until after 6 p.m. If it’s discretionary, don’t do it during peak hours, and if you can, do it after 10 p.m. In the winter the highest rates are from 6 a.m. – 9 a.m., so you’ll need to reset your thermostat and water heater timer, and adjust your habits accordingly, but doing laundry and dishes after 10 p.m. is still the same. It just becomes part of your lifestyle, and it’s an option we really enjoy.” —Dale Hall

All about time-of-use rates

For more information, visit bemc.org, call (800) 842-5871, or stop by any office with questions and to enroll.

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