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Forum > Miscellaneous > Time-of-use Electricity ( Moderated by Deepika, EleanorSews, CynthiaSue)

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Time-of-use Electricity
how this new program is working out for us
GrandmaNewt
GrandmaNewt
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Date: 6/5/12 4:29 PM

Our house is all electric and 60 years old. In the past we had managed to cut our power bills quite a bit in the summer by installing and using a swamp cooler instead of the two AC units. Our biggest bills have always been in the winter time with the heaters to keep warm and of course the ever growing outdoor Christmas display that we run from Thanksgiving until Jan. 2nd.

Last November we finally got transfered over to the Time Of Use program. Here is the basics of how the program works here in Las Vegas: Normal rates for those not on this program are 12 cents per kilowatt hour. On the TOU program, from October 1 until May 31 we pay the non peak rate of just under 6 cents per kw hour. The peat season is from June 1 until Sept. 30. During those times there are non peak ours from 7 pm. until 1 pm. those rates are 8 cents kwh. from 1 pm until 7 pm is the tricky point....rates jump to a whopping 32 cents.

During the winter months we made out really well on the power bill. We cut our bill in HALF. We are well aware that now we are in the peak times and the rates of the peak hours are very high. We have made a few adjustments to our lifestyle. Still using the swamp cooler and it turns out that it uses very little actual power, so we are staying cool. We make sure to shower either early or late in the day to avoid the electric water heater running during the peak hours. Any major cooking for lunch or dinner gets done early in the day so we can just warm it up quickly at dinner time. Also this summer, so we cook a lot of meals outside in the smoker and on the grill....dont need to turn on my electric stove at all most days. It goes without saying that I do our laundry early in the morning now since the washer and dryer really seem to run the meter up fast.

The biggest adjustment for me during the peak hours is clearly going to be my sewing. Normally when I am in the sewing room I have 2 lights on, a ceiling fan, a sewing machine, serger and iron. Plus I usually have either the tv or the stereo on in there. Now I have personally declared my sewing room off limits during the summer peak hours. Its kinda tuff finding other things to do when I normally would be in there sewing.

Altho I know our summer bills will be higher than normal, I still feel that overall our yearly savings will be lower. When we signed up for this program, the power company had a deal that if we stick with it for a year, at the end of that year if we have not saved money, they will refund the difference and put us back on the regular program.

lareine
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Date: 6/5/12 5:04 PM

We have been on a scheme like that for years. It does keep our bills low because nobody is home during the day anyway. I do all our laundry after 9pm (when off-peak starts) and make use of a slow cooker to cook our hot meals overnight. You're right, it does take some planning, but for those who can make use of the off-peak tariff it's a real money saver.

GrandmaNewt
GrandmaNewt
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Date: 6/5/12 5:24 PM

We are retired (or resigned as I like to call it) so we are home all day every day. This program is going to work for us because I can easily adjust my schedule of doing things.

I can see where it wouldn't be so good for a lot of people here in Vegas tho. There are many here that work odd shifts and would have no choice but to do their cooking, laundry etc. during peak hours. Also, cooling your house is a must here in the desert for those that are home all day long. Our swamp cooler works great, but those that count on air conditioners to keep them cool would really be running up a huge bill.

justgail

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Date: 6/5/12 5:56 PM

We were on such a plan (all electric applicances) at one time also. For us, it was no problem to follow, as we both worked days, no kids, did all the laundry on weekends, etc. I don't think we saved 50% though.

Our current house has LP for dryer and water heaters, and geothermal for heat/cooling, and now with DS out of shool for the summer leaving things on we would not have saved much, if anything, so we are not on it.

GrandmaNewt
GrandmaNewt
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In reply to justgail <<


Date: 6/5/12 6:12 PM

I doubt we would have saved as much if we had gas for the stove, water heater etc. but we don,t....the gas lines in our area stop at the block before us and there are no plans of extending it on down :(

I know we wouldn't save a cent if we still had kids at home. The day that the last one moved out I noticed how much all of our utility bills (and grocery bills too) dropped!

MagnoliaHoney
MagnoliaHoney
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Date: 6/5/12 6:25 PM

For sewing could you cut, and such as that-the non electric parts of it, during peak hours? Get a very small radio that runs on small batteries for music, instead of plugging into the wall?

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SunnyAlta
SunnyAlta
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Date: 6/5/12 6:33 PM

I fully expect our power provider is planning for this type of service in the future! They installed brand new smart meters last summer with time-of-use capability. It would be a bit of an adjustment for us? DH's schedule is so confusing I make NO appointments of any kind without looking at it first. Would appreciate a choice of trying the program or not. Sounds like it might be working well for you.

Vireya
Vireya
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Date: 6/5/12 7:11 PM

I listen to an MP3 player with headphones while sewing. I can plug it in overnight to re-charge on low peak, then it will run for several days of personalised music, podcasts, whatever I want.

You could consider LED lamps for lighting your sewing area - they use a lot less power.

a7yrstitch
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In reply to GrandmaNewt <<


Date: 6/5/12 8:02 PM

That is an amazingly generous non-peak time. We were on a peak period plan in PA. The non-peak hours were much shorter. Being native Texans, it was no problem though. I'm used to running the appliances during the coolest time possible.

I can see your concerns about sewing. Lots of power going into our little hideaways and lots of heat being produced.

Sounds like a deal though.

Best wishes.

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Michelle T

Michelle T
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Date: 6/5/12 10:56 PM

Couldn't you hang the laundry on a clothes line to dry? I would think it would dry quite quickly in NV.

I save quite a bit of money by hanging out the laundry when it is dry. We have had a long cool wet spring, but I can still get laundry on the line a couple times a week.

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