Your electric bill is one of your biggest monthly expenses. Yet, the system that regulates it needs to be clearer and more complicated. Thankfully, there are several easy ways to cut costs.
Time-of-Use (TOU) Pricing
Time-of-use (TOU) pricing varies electricity rates according to when customers use energy. It rewards customers for using electricity when demand is lower than normal, like during off-peak hours. It also encourages customers to manage their daily usage and shift consumption to these times.
Utilities like Irving electric company offer TOU plans voluntarily in many states. However, participation in these programs could be higher. In addition, a lack of customer education about TOU rates and how to save money on their bills has led some consumers to doubt that TOU rates are fair.
Electricity prices vary throughout the day based on the overall demand of the grid and other factors. When demand peaks, the cost to produce energy jumps. Utilities like TOU rates because they help them curb demand during these peak hours, reducing their energy costs and helping the environment.
But is TOU the right rate plan for you? To find out, start by examining your household’s energy habits. Can you easily change your routine to shift energy usage to off-peak hours? If so, TOU is a great option for your home. Otherwise, a standard bill may be better for your household. The key is to compare TOU rates with your current bill. You can do this by logging into your PWC online account and viewing your on-peak and off-peak usage.
The electricity you use is priced per kilowatt hour, and the energy price varies by the time of day. Electricity prices are higher during peak hours, also known as on-peak or demand periods. During off-peak hours, electricity prices are lower.
When utilities are at their busiest, they need to build extra capacity to meet the high demands on the grid. Electricity is more expensive during peak usage, so utility companies charge a higher rate to encourage customers to reduce their usage and ease the burden on the power system.
You will likely find these peak-usage charges listed on your utility bill as kW or demand charges and kWh usage charges. It is important to understand how these charges work and what you can do to save money on your bill.
The cheapest electricity rates are offered during off-peak hours, which vary by region and season. To take advantage of these lower energy rates, schedule major appliances (such as washers, dryers, and dishwashers) to operate during off-peak hours, typically 4 pm-7 pm on weekdays, weekends, and six observed holidays. It may also be helpful to stagger the use of cooling systems and set electric heating to run during off-peak hours. These simple steps can help you save on your energy costs and take some of the strain off the utility system.
Charges for Faulty Wires
Faulty wiring is a significant contributor to high electricity bills. If you’re unplugging appliances after use, turning off lights when not in a room, and using energy-efficient major appliances to try to lower your electric bill, but you’re still seeing higher bills, it could be time for an electrician to come to check out the wiring in your home or apartment.
Wiring in older homes is often antiquated, unable to cope with the demands of multiple appliances and electronics running simultaneously. This can cause circuits to overheat, tripping the breaker, or start electrical fires. If you rent an apartment, report any faulty wiring issues to your property manager.
Aside from causing overheated appliances, faulty wires can harm your family’s health and well-being. Call an electrician immediately to check the issue if you notice any signs of a frayed wire, like sparks or smoke.
Having your house or apartment rewired will not only save you money, but it will also make your home safer and more comfortable. The cost of replacing your old wires depends on the type of wire you need (copper or aluminum) and how many rooms you need to rewire. The average price for replacement wires is about $15 per foot, not including labor costs. It would help if you also considered getting a new 200 amp service panel for your home to handle the additional electricity consumption of modern appliances and electronics.
When you switch energy providers, you can choose a plan with rates lower than the regulated BGE Standard Offer Service (SOS) rate. However, some plans require a contract with a specific duration. If you don’t renew your contract by the end of its term, you may face a fee for breaking your agreement with the supplier.
It’s important to review your electricity usage every month, especially if you have automatic bill pay and online banking set up. This will help you spot a spike in your electricity usage and identify if your electricity price has increased.
Electricity prices are rising, but you can save money by carefully reading your bills and reducing your consumption. You can significantly reduce your electricity bill by reducing the use of appliances during peak hours and using devices such as printers or computers on power strips. Also, shopping around for the best electricity rates each year is key to keeping your bill low. And remember, it only takes 10 minutes to save big!