Here’s what TOU rates mean for Pedernales Electric customers
Across the country, utilities are beginning to introduce seasonal rate structures for residential energy consumers. Pedernales Electric Cooperative (PEC) is one such utility who has recently made a shift in the way they charge their rate payers for electricity consumption.
The overall goal is simple: to incentivize customers to consume energy during times when the cost of generating electricity is cheap, and to disincentive energy consumption when the cost of generating electricity is high.
However, shifting your energy consumption pattern is not always easy, especially in today’s world of working from home, historic unemployment levels, and stay-at-home mandates…
How do time-of-use rates work?
Time-of-use (TOU) rates adjust over the course of the day. At times when both the cost of generating electricity and demand for electricity are low (i.e. in the middle of the night), the rate paid to use electricity is very low. However, at times when both the cost of generation and demand for electricity are high (i.e. the afternoon of a hot summer day), the rate of electricity is much higher.
For instance, Pedernales Electric Cooperative’s (PEC’s) summer time-of-use rate for residential energy users has five separate periods, with the cheapest ‘Super Economy’ electricity rates from 3:01 am to 5 am, and the most expensive ‘Super Peak’ rates from 2:01 pm to 6 pm.
Making the most of TOU electricity rates
There are a number of ways to make the most out of TOU rates. The cheapest method is to use your appliances during the hours when electricity is least expensive.
However, as referenced in the above tables and charts, the time when the cheapest power is available is also one of the most unconventional times to use power (in the wee early hours of the morning from 3:01 am to 5 am).
As we said before, shifting our energy consumption behavior is not always the easiest…
Another great way to decrease your exposure to peak pricing on TOU rates is to invest in residential solar, and even more so to invest in solar-plus-storage. Many TOU rates have the highest cost in the middle of the day when your electricity consumption could be offset by electricity produced by a solar system on your property.
What do TOU rates mean for homeowners who already have solar panels?
For homeowners with solar panels, the best advice is to switch your consumption behavior so that you’re using as much energy as you can during the time that makes the most financial sense.
This may mean that you pay more attention to your system’s solar production and monitoring and do your cooking, dish-washing, and laundry at times when your solar panels are producing the most energy from sunlight.
However, depending on the size of your solar energy system (and the amount of energy your household uses), this may not be possible. Especially with air conditioning in July and August – the hottest months in Texas – your energy usage may exceed your system’s production. What then?
TOU rates may be new in Texas, but they’ve been around in other states for many years, and luckily we can learn from the examples of others.
Home batteries like the Tesla Powerwall have grown to be very popular in California because they allow homeowners to self-consume energy produced by solar panels during the most expensive time of the day. With an energy storage system connected to your solar panels, you can better control your energy consumption and make the most out of TOU electricity rates.
Wells Solar Has The Best Deal On Tesla Powerwall!
This summer we’re offering $80/month Powerwall Bundle package deals that include solar panels and Tesla Powerwall. Protect yourself from rising electricity costs and TOU rates by producing your own energy! Contact Wells Solar to schedule a free, no-obligation solar savings analysis.
You can get Tesla Powerwall AND solar panels installed at your house for just $80/month! Visit the Powerwall Bundle page to learn more.
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About Wells Solar
Founded in 2014 in Austin, Wells Solar & Electrical Services is a family-owned establishment committed to installing high-quality solar power solutions that everyone can afford. Thanks to special solar programs available in Texas, you may be able to trade the money you’re spending on power bills for a solar finance payment and realize net savings each month! Contact Wells Solar to learn more.
1 Pedernales Electric Cooperative TOU Source: https://www.pec.coop/your-service/our-rates/rates-pricing/time-of-use/