Electricity providers throughout the U.S. offer programs to help their customers cut energy costs by using time-variant pricing. Under these programs, the utility varies its kilowatt (kW) charges based on the time of day it was used. Off-peak hours have a low kW charge, while peak times cost far more.
These plans, also called time-of-use (TOU), help the utility company manage the electrical load when the demands are highest. In south Texas, late afternoon heat generates a lot of demand for electricity. If the power company can shift some of that demand to cooler periods, it saves money,
Is a TOU Plan Right for You?
Ideal customers for a TOU plan are those who:
- Are away during the peak hour period. TOU and time-variant pricing schedules are for weekdays only. Weekend rates are normally charged at the low off-peak rate.
- Have a well-insulated home. It costs much more to run the A/C during peak hours. The best way to save money using a TOU is to turn the temperature up to 85 degrees F or higher. A poorly insulated home would quickly become uncomfortable during the peak heat period.
- Your cooling system has the capacity to run for prolonged periods to remove the heat that builds during the peak hours.
- You have a programmable thermostat or would be comfortable using one.
How to Make TOU Work for You
These tips will help your home stay cooler and increase your comfort when using a TOU plan:
- Close all the window coverings to keep the heat outside.
- If you must cook, use the outdoor barbecue or microwave.
- Don’t use the clothes dryer during the peak hours.
- Avoid showering. It releases heat and humidity into your home.
- Consider thermal loading your home before the peak hours arrive.
Using time-variant pricing plans from your electric provider will help you cut cooling costs. If you’d like more information on them or learn about alternative ways to cut energy costs, contact CCAC, Inc., providing trusted HVAC services for Coastal Bend homeowners.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Corpus Christi, Texas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about your HVAC system, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 361-678-2495.