Avoiding the rush: Time-of-use matters

Posted on Jul 05 2024 in LaGrange County REMC
Mark Leu

Did you know that when you use electricity often matters as much as how much electricity you consume?

I don’t think it would surprise anyone to learn that electricity use fluctuates throughout the day based on consumer demand, and that we must be able to provide enough electricity to meet the energy demands of our members during times of highest energy use, also known as “on-peak hours.” Early-morning hours, when people often start their day, and evening hours, when people return to their homes after work, are common times for on-peak hours.

What you may not know is that electric utilities including LaGrange County REMC typically pay more for electricity –– either from a power plant or from another utility with excess power –– during those morning and evening “energy rush hours.” In addition, the demand for electricity is even higher when it’s especially hot or cold outside, when air conditioning or heating systems must run longer to maintain comfortable temperatures in our homes.

To reduce peak energy demand and save money, many electric co-ops have created a time-of-use rate program to encourage electricity use during off-peak hours –– when energy is less expensive to provide. Similar to saving money by attending a matinee, you can keep more money in your wallet simply by using electricity during an off-peak time period. Although your co-op, LaGrange County REMC, does not currently offer time of use rates, it is something we have been considering for some time and may implement in the near future.

Using less on-peak power means lower costs for the co-op –– and ultimately, lower rates for members.

By performing some of your daily chores, like running the dishwasher or doing laundry during off-peak hours, you can help us reduce power-supply costs. You can also put technology to work for you. If you have a programmable thermostat, adjust the settings so your heating/cooling system syncs up with the off-peak rate periods. Use automatic timers to run hot tubs, pool pumps, water heaters and other appliances in the same way.

Saving energy can be simple. Remember, by shifting your energy use to off-peak times, you have the power to help keep everyone’s monthly energy bills lower. To learn more about why time-of-use matters, watch a short video by visiting the following link: http://tinyurl.com/TOUmatters.