The summer months always make me think of our hydro bill. Filling an entire swimming pool, watering the lawn and garden, hosing down the car and having the kids run through the sprinkler sure do add up. And yes, there’s still lots of washing to do—our household of 7 does 14 loads of laundry per week and washes countless dishes! Oh, and there are 5 kids to bathe each night after all is said and done!
So, to save money on our hydro bill, we take advantage of the “off-peak” Time of Use (TOU) electricity rates. The concept is simple: it’s the cheapest to use electricity after 7 pm on weekdays, or anytime on weekends and holidays (from May 1 to Oct 31, 2012).
It actually costs 55% less to use your electricity from 7 pm to 7 am on weekdays, or all day on weekends and holidays! In my area, the cost is $0.117 per kWh at the peak weekday rate from 11 am to 5 pm, compared to $0.065 per kWh during the best off peak time. That’s a difference of $0.052 per kWh, wow!
The off-peak electricity schedule was not easy for our household to adjust to at first. Actually, we had to rework our entire schedule. The biggest change we implemented was laundry only after 7 pm and on weekends. It was a difficult mindset to get used to: seeing a mountain of laundry sitting all day long, and only acting on it after 7 pm.
In contrast, it was easy for us to run our dishwasher before 7 am or after 7 pm on weekdays and take advantage of the off-peak rates. It was also easy for us to only mow our lawn on weekends and holidays. Similarly, it was easy to use our oven for cooking during the off- peak hours—it just took a little bit of pre-planning.
However, we were not always perfect adhering to the off-peak Time of Use rate, due to having a young family. So, we were glad that a mid-peak rate was offered from 5 pm to 7 pm on weekdays (also 7 am to 11 am). While not as tempting as the off-peak rate, it still saves our household $0.017 per kWh. A savings is a savings.
Although the off-peak hours do not fit my family’s schedule like a glove, we’re pleased for the savings. It does require common chores to be rescheduled, and there’s a learning curve—but the savings are electrifying!