Friday, May 6, 2011

Saving on Power

Like us, frugal home owners everwhere are unplugging the dryer, have the television, gaming platform and DVD player on a power strip and have been known to shower with the light off (no? Just me on that one??). Then, I learned about something else: variable billing rates on electricity.

There are many similar programs out there, but I'll focus on our local service provider Pacific Power and their program "Time of Use" billing. After enrolling in Time of Use billing, for 12 months your power bill with reflect usage during On-Peak & Off-Peak Hours.


In the Summer, On-Peak hours are billed at a rate of $0.06124 per kWh. Winter On-Peak Hours bill at $0.03316 per kwh. Year-round Off-peak hours are billed at -$0.01125 per kwh. Did you see that NEGATIVE rate for Off-Peak hours??

"You will receive a credit for the number of kwh of electricity you used during off-peak hours and an additional charge for the electricity you used during on-peak hours." source

I'm still reeling.

So, should you make the switch? Pacific Power recommends taking this short quiz to help you make the decision. We scored 10 points on the quiz, so I'm feeling pretty good. But I'm happy to know about this program. This may be something to consider in the future. Maybe by then we can talk the oil companies into "off peak driving hours" or maybe the banks will offer "off peak spending hours"...


  1. That's a very interesting incentive from your utility. I've briefly looked into time-shifting my electrical usage as well, but found my provider doesn't distinguish peak and off-peak rates for residential customers.

  2. we got a 75! ha.
    Though we try to limit the use of our wall heaters and use wood. Having the kids home all day really has an effect on our usage...though now we have that new FREE fridge!

  3. Josh, here's hoping your provider develops some incentives like the Tim of Use program! Based on what I read, I really wonder... if I left some lights on during the Off-Peak hours, could it cancel out my Peak hour usage??

    Erin, do you have gas? We have gas, which is what I assume makes the big difference. Are you thinking about signing up for Time of Use billing? If so, I think you should blog about it :-)