3 Steps to Master Time-of-Use for Lower Winter Electric Bills

3 Steps to Master Time-of-Use for Lower Winter Electric Bills

In this blog post, we’ll guide you through three steps to navigate Time-of-Use rate plans and keep your winter electricity bills in check:
● Know your peak hours
● Shift high-energy activities to off-peak hours
● Monitor and adjust your energy use

Using energy during certain times of day when power is cheaper is a smart way to lower your winter energy bills. Time-of-use, or TOU pricing, charges different rates for electricity use during different times of the day. Here are three steps to help you make the most of TOU pricing during the colder months.

1. Know Your Peak Hours

With TOU rates, you have more control over your electricity costs because you can shift the time when you use energy. Using energy in the morning or late at night is less expensive than power used between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. Peak hours are times when electricity demand is at its highest and rates are more expensive. Familiarize yourself with your rate plan to learn when your electricity is most expensive and move your usage to cheaper hours if you can.

2. Check the Time and Shift High-Energy Activities

By reducing your energy consumption during peak hours, you can significantly reduce your bill. Use these techniques to shift high-energy activities to off-peak hours for substantial savings:

  • Thermostat Settings: Preheat your home and lower the thermostat during peak hours. Seal drafts and insulate windows to help your house stay warm. Better yet, use programmable or smart thermostats to automatically adjust the temperature in your home based on peak and off-peak times.
  • Laundry and Dishwashing: Run the dishwasher and washing machine during off-peak hours in the morning or before bed. Consider using a delayed start feature on appliances to coincide with lower electricity rates.
  • Cooking Strategies: Plan meals in advance for less reliance on your oven or stove during peak hours. Use slow cookers, microwaves, or toaster ovens for cooking during peak times.
  • Family Activities: Make sure the entire household knows the importance of shifting electricity use to off-peak hours. Create a shared schedule to coordinate high-energy tasks for lower-cost hours.


3. Monitor Energy Use and Adjust

Pay close attention to your electricity usage patterns. Seeing which appliances and what times you’re using energy is a powerful way to uncover savings opportunities. Use the Home Energy Checkup tool on your PG&E online account to see your usage breakdown and adjust your habits to save energy!

Visit mceCleanEnergy.org/4-9 for more tips to maximize your savings!

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