What is time-of-use?
If you have ever delayed making a phone call until rates were lower, then you’ve already benefited from a form of time-of-use savings.
Tideland EMC, like you, purchases electricity from a power company. Generally, it is quite inexpensive to generate and buy electricity. However, when electricity is in great demand, older, less-efficient power plants are used to meet the additional load. At these time, called “peak periods,” electricity is very expensive to generate and the costs are passed on to Tideland EMC and our members. When we avoid these “traffic jams” by shifting the use of electric appliances to off-peak hours, we have the potential to save money.
The time-of-use rate structure is similar to the way Tideland EMC is charged for power. All of your kilowatt hours will be very inexpensive, only 6.544¢ per kwh. That’s significantly lower than our standard residential rates of 10.58¢ in winter and 11.495¢ in summer. However, by replacing your existing meter with a time-of-use meter, Tideland will be able to monitor your demand during on-peak hours and it will be recorded as kW demand. For example, 10-100-watt light bulbs, when lit at the same time, generate 1 kW of demand. The more electrical appliances you use simultaneously on-peak, the greater your demand charge will be.
However, demand is not cumulative. Your demand reading today is not added to your demand reading tomorrow. It is simply the highest peak you reach during a single 15-minute on-peak period. Your monthly kW demand is then multiplied by $9.40 in winter and $10.35 in summer. On meter reading day, your demand will be reset to zero.
When are the peak hours?
In winter the on-peak hours are 6 am to 9 am, Monday through Friday. During summer the hours are 4 pm to 8 pm. Weekends and major holiday are entirely off-peak.
How much can I save?
We find that time-of-use members typically save the equivalent of 1 to 2 electric bills a year. The amount you save will largely be determined by the commitment you make to maintaining an off-peak lifestyle. For example, you can put timers on some appliances like water heaters, pool pumps, or hot tubs so they never operate on-peak. Simply signing up for the rate will not automatically lower your electric bill.
Is this rate for everyone?
No. Many families have no choice but to run major appliances during on-peak periods. Tideland’s time-of-use rate may be a good fit if you can answer yes to the following: Are you willing to learn how much electricity you use and when you use it? Can you avoid or stagger major appliance use during peak periods? Will all the members of your household, including guests, children, and housekeepers, be able to maintain a time-of-use lifestyle?
Can I try the program without changing rates?
Yes. In fact, we prefer not to change your rate until it has been demonstrated that you understand the rate and can incorporate it into your lifestyle without incurring additional costs in the form of on-peak demand penalties.
Must my home be total electric?
No. However, savings may be limited depending on the number of non-electric appliances you have. This rate would be ideal for members with dual fuel heat pumps.
I have a heat pump with auxiliary heat strips. Don't they create a lot of KW demand?
Yes. Therefore, you may want to install a programmable thermostat designed for heat pumps. If you are interested in learning more about the time-of-use program or would like to give it a try, call Tideland at 800.637.1079.
If you are interested in learning more about the time-of-use program or would like to give it a try, call Tideland at 800.637.1079. You can also learn more about our payment options.