pacomartin
pacomartin
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September 10th, 2011 at 7:20:51 PM permalink
The electric company is offering a time of use option to potentially save money.
Current rate is 11.793 cents/kilowatt hour.

They are offering a tiered rate at high at 12.368 cents/kwh, and low 10.649 cents/kwh .
High period is 5-7 PM for 8 months of the year Oct-Jun, other 22 hours a day are low.
High period is 1-6 PM for 4 months of the year Jul-Sep, other 19 hours a day are low.

The idea is that you would defer cooking, showering, dishwashing, laundering, etc. during those 2 hours a day in fall/winter (defined as 8 months Oct-Jun), and for those 5 hours a day in summer (defined as 4 months Jul-Sep). You could go further and put your hot water, and your refrigerators on timers so that they turn off during high power usage.

If I put the numbers into a spreadsheet, and assuming that power usage during peak hours is cut to zero, it reduces the bill by almost 10% a year. Since that is an extreme state (you will undoubtedly use some power during peak hours), the savings could be only 5% or 6%. The savings are offset because the peak hour rate is higher than the current state with no time of use

But it occurs to me that their may be a side benefit. By increasing awareness of critical hours, the overall consumption of electricity by people in the house may be reduced, and not just time shifted. That could result in some more realistic savings of up to 15% or 20% per year.

It also seems to me that it is possible that frustration will set in, and people will go to the habit of using power whenever they want it. Not deferring summer showers, etc. It would be possible to nullify any advantage of the system. I am also not sure if turning off refrigerators for two to five hours a day will have a severe effect on food shelf life.

Does anyone on the forum have some experience with this option for power consumption? Any thoughts or frustrations?

Similar Program
The power company installs a meter on your central A/C unit/heat pump. In the summer they will turn down or turn off your compressor when it is very hot, thus controlling peak demand. I don't think you have the power to override even at a penalty price. This program seems less appealing because it could save less money and you are not in control.
Ayecarumba
Ayecarumba
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September 12th, 2011 at 12:14:55 PM permalink
Quote: pacomartin


Similar Program
The power company installs a meter on your central A/C unit/heat pump. In the summer they will turn down or turn off your compressor when it is very hot, thus controlling peak demand. I don't think you have the power to override even at a penalty price. This program seems less appealing because it could save less money and you are not in control.



Southern California Edison is already offering this option. You don't have control, and cannot overrride their decision to cut off your AC. They estimate an average savings of $200 over the course of a summer.

I don't think it could work in Las Vegas, where air temperature means life and death for pets and other living things in your house.
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication - Leonardo da Vinci
boymimbo
boymimbo
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September 12th, 2011 at 10:04:35 PM permalink
This happens in Ontario, Canada, as well. You can sign up to a program called PeakSaver. How it works:

"During hot summer weekdays when electricity usage is very high and electricity supply is critically low, your Local Electricity Distribution Company will send a message to your thermostat through wireless pager system to turn your temperature up by 2°C. The temperature will be adjusted only on a hottest day from May 1st to September 30th, and between 1 p.m. and 10 p.m. Typically, the adjustment occurs during the summer peak demand hours of 1:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. for a maximum of four hours, and never on weekends or holidays. Your programmable thermostat would be adjusted on an average five times to a maximum of 40 hours plus
emergencies like a potential blackout. At the end of the scheduled temperature control period, your thermostat setting will revert to its original setting."

For enrolling you get the thermostat, installation, and a $25 credit. You program your thermostat ONLINE.

Ontario also has tiered rates and are installing Smartmeters throughout the province. Rates are 10.7 cents weekdays between 11am and 5pm, 8.9 cents weekdays between 7am and 11am, and 5pm and 7pm, and 5.9 cents for all other times (per hour). This is from May to October. in the winter months it switches with peak between 7 and 11 and 5 to 7pm.
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boymimbo
boymimbo
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September 12th, 2011 at 10:12:42 PM permalink
For me personally, it affects the way that I use electricity. We don't have A/C in the house, but we avoid doing laundry and running the dishwasher in peak periods. I guess a major benefit to others would be to push back cooking until 7pm.
----- You want the truth! You can't handle the truth!
FleaStiff
FleaStiff
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September 13th, 2011 at 2:16:29 AM permalink
I wonder if all the hot air and paperwork generated by such programs is counter-productive.

Pricing of High Occupancy Vehicle lanes, electrical rates, bridge and tunnel tolls, parking fees, etc. are often touted as benefits, but I have no idea if its actually worth anything.

When HOV lanes were first introduced, Hippies in the San Francisco suburbs would rent themselves out as lane-qualifying passengers, riding into San Francisco in the morning and riding out in the late afternoon. HOV lanes became a subsidy for being a flower child and probably lead to a good number of attractive young hippie chicks adding to the welfare rolls by getting pregnant by males driving to and from suburban homes.

Brownout and blackout avoidance may be admirable and doing it with money-induced voluntary choice sounds great but I've no idea if it is effective. When TV stations broadcast a power company appeal to turn off air conditioners, I'm sure most people just assume that others will do it and that they themselves will both reap the benefit of blackout avoidance as well as staying cool while do-gooders sweat.
AZDuffman
AZDuffman
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September 17th, 2011 at 8:50:25 AM permalink
Quote: pacomartin

Does anyone on the forum have some experience with this option for power consumption? Any thoughts or frustrations?



My thought is liberals will think this is just dandy until it affects their lives in a negative way, then they will woner why they have to sit in the heat in the summer.

Conservatives will warn people about giving up their freedom and in turn be accused for "hating the envrionment."

As to me, I would NEVER let the power company have the option to control my usage in my home.
All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others
pacomartin
pacomartin
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September 17th, 2011 at 9:14:26 AM permalink
Quote: boymimbo


Ontario also has tiered rates and are installing Smartmeters throughout the province. Rates are 10.7 cents weekdays between 11am and 5pm, 8.9 cents weekdays between 7am and 11am, and 5pm and 7pm, and 5.9 cents for all other times (per hour). This is from May to October. in the winter months it switches with peak between 7 and 11 and 5 to 7pm.



I would go for this option in a heartbeat. The very low rate overnight from 7PM to 7AM means you could do your washing at night, you could put a timer on your hot water heater and use up the water in a day. You could even run basement dehumidifiers at night only.

The rates are very low compared to those being offered in Pennsylvania. In PA they are 12.368 cents / hour peak and 10.649 cents per hour off peak (combined generation and distribution rates). The off peak is nearly the same as your peak rate. Is power that much cheaper in Canada or are you just giving me the electricity generation rates .
kenarman
kenarman
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September 17th, 2011 at 10:50:39 AM permalink
The fridge timer could be a scary thing for you primary food fridge. You likely then have your AC controlled as well so the house will be warm. Your fridge will be warming up possibly significantly and food safety would become a concern. If the fridge didn't warm up then the timer wouldn't matter since the fridge would not have come on anyway. It could be hidden food problems because the temperature might be back down by the time you were using anything out of the fridge.

If it is a beer fridge in the basement then not so important but the power company is probably asking you to just get rid of the beer fridge anyway.

The real savings from time of day rates come if your are able to store energy that you purchase off peak to use during peak times, not necessarily easy to do.
Be careful when you follow the masses, the M is sometimes silent.
FleaStiff
FleaStiff
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September 17th, 2011 at 10:58:30 AM permalink
Such programs do not limit energy availability as much as alter the price that is charged at peak hours and allow shedding of load if need be. Many people opt for off grid living or atleast off grid capability for such reasons.

Co-generation was such a threat to utilities that one of the first customers to attempt it was told "you either take all your power from us or none of it".
boymimbo
boymimbo
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September 17th, 2011 at 11:10:42 AM permalink
Quote: pacomartin

I would go for this option in a heartbeat. The very low rate overnight from 7PM to 7AM means you could do your washing at night, you could put a timer on your hot water heater and use up the water in a day. You could even run basement dehumidifiers at night only.

The rates are very low compared to those being offered in Pennsylvania. In PA they are 12.368 cents / hour peak and 10.649 cents per hour off peak (combined generation and distribution rates). The off peak is nearly the same as your peak rate. Is power that much cheaper in Canada or are you just giving me the electricity generation rates .



No. Add $16.79 as a monthly base charge and then distribution charges of $.0267/kWH and then a .0067/kwh for a Regulatory component. Oh yeah, and 13% HST. So, no it ain't that cheap.
----- You want the truth! You can't handle the truth!

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