Time of Use
Wholesale electricity prices fluctuate as customer demand changes throughout the day. A time of use program helps you take advantage of those price fluctuations.
What is Time of Use?
Some electricity suppliers offer time of use programs. These programs let you pay a lower rate for power during off-peak hours. You'll pay a higher rate during peak hours. Joining a time of use program can translate to savings on your electric bill each month.
How does Time of Use work?
It takes a little extra planning on your part, but a time of use program could lower your bill. Here’s an example:
You usually run your dishwasher and washing machine in the evening. So does everyone else. That increases the demand for electricity in the evening hours. During those peak hours, wholesale electricity prices can go up.
With a time of use program, you can do the dishes and laundry during off-peak hours. You might choose to do them at night or in the early morning. The power you use in those low-demand hours will cost less on a time of use plan.
How to Save Money
with Time of Use
1. Use electric appliances, like dishwashers and ovens, during off-peak hours.
2. Set timers on your thermostat, water heaters and pool pumps to go on during off-peak hours.
3. Charge your electric vehicle during off-peak hours.
Common Time of Use Program Details
Each energy supplier handles time of use programs differently. It's important to understand your supplier's on- and off-peak timeframes and other details.
Here are a few things that most programs have in common:
- Off-peak hours with lower rates are usually early morning (for example: 6am - 9am) and late night (for example: 9pm - 6am).
- On-peak hours with higher rates are usually during the day (for example: 9am - 5pm) and evening (for example: 5pm - 9pm).
- Timeframes may change on weekends or during different seasons to account for changing customer needs.
Which Electricity Utilities Offer Time of Use?
More and more electric utilities in Pennsylvania offer time of use programs. Check if your power company has a time of use or peak use pricing plan. Then visit their website for details.
Offerings can vary and programs may have eligibility criteria.
Frequently Asked Questions About Time of Use
What is time of use pricing?
Time of use is a program offered by some electricity suppliers. It allows you to pay a lower rate when using power during off-peak hours and a higher rate during on-peak hours.
Will I save money with a time of use rate program?
A time of use program could help lower your electricity bill. These programs encourage you to use electricity during off-peak hours. It takes planning to shift your energy usage to off-peak hours. But if you have the flexibility to do so, then this unique pricing structure may save you money.
What are time of use times?
Times differ by electricity supplier. Off-peak hours with lower rates may be early morning (for example: 6am - 9am) and late night (for example: 9pm to 6am). On-peak hours with higher rates may be during the day (for example: 9am to 5pm) and evening (for example: 5pm to 9pm) Timeframes for on- and off-peak hours may change on weekends or during different seasons. You’ll need to check with your supplier for the specific time of use times in your area.
Will time of use rates lower the cost of charging my electric vehicle?
You may be able to reduce electricity costs if you charge your electric vehicle during the off-peak hours of your supplier’s time of use program.
How does time of use billing work?
If you enroll in a time of use program, your electricity supplier will use data from your meter to differentiate your electricity usage by time frame. Your off-peak usage will be charged at a lower rate. Your on-peak usage will be charged at a higher rate. The off-peak and on-peak charges will be combined to calculate your total bill. Check with your supplier for more details about time of use billing.
Does my electric distribution company offer time of use pricing?
Check your distribution company’s website or call their customer service number to see if they have a time of use program.
Through Act 129 legislation, large electric distribution companies (EDCs) must offer time of use programs. Additionally, suppliers may also offer these programs. Time of use rates, times, and eligibility criteria vary and should be confirmed with each EDC or supplier.