Last month, we discussed the economics of using energy storage to increase the value of solar power by “time shifting” solar generation from primarily off-peak to on-peak. A number of members had comments and questions about also “time shifting” their energy usage to take advantage of Wake Electric’s time-of-use residential rate.
Our current “time-of-use” residential rate is as follows: the on-peak rate of 27.16 cents per kWh for 4 to 5 hours per day (five days per week) is 3.5 times the off-peak rate of 7.76 cents for the rest of the day (and all day on weekends).
The 7.76 cents “off-peak” rate per kWh is nearly a 30 percent discount from our regular rate of 10.944 cents per kWh for nearly 90 percent of the hours in a year. Even using the same amount of energy, if you can “time shift” much of your energy use to “off peak” hours, there can be a significant savings. Many members can do that by using a water heater timer or programmable thermostat for your heating and/or air conditioning system.
A word of caution, however: time-of-use rates are not for everyone. You have to pay attention when you use electricity. If not, your electric bill could go up, not down.
Much of Wake Electric’s wholesale power costs are determined by energy use during peak periods. A time-of-use retail rate actually reflects those costs more accurately. Also, new power plants are bult primarily to provide energy during peak periods. Anything we can do to avoid building new power plants saves money and avoids new environmental concerns.