Tucson Electric Power’s new electricity rate structure, effective Dec. 1, includes expanded time-of-use options that allow residential and commercial customers to save money by shifting their consumption away from high-demand periods of the day, the company said.
An average residential customer who moves two-thirds of “peak” and “shoulder” usage to “off-peak” hours can save around 6 percent on his or her annual electric bill in the PowerShift plans, a release said. “Savings will vary based on individual usage patterns.”
“Customers can save money by shifting their consumption to periods of time when demand for electricity is typically lower,” spokesman Joe Salkowski said.
There are three plans — Weekend Includes Peak, Weekend Includes Shoulder and Weekend Entirely Off-Peak.
Each has adjustments for winter and summer consumption.
“As a rule, all of our time-of-use rates charge more for energy use on peak,” Salkowski said. “Shoulder and off-peak hours, there are different rates for each of those periods.”
Peaks vary by season.
In the summer, “prime time” peak electrical consumption occurs during hot afternoons, from 2 to 6 p.m., when demand rises and the market price goes up with it.
During hot weather, people can save money by operating appliances and pool pumps in lower-priced off-peak hours.
Winter consumption is generally lower in Southern Arizona. Peak hours of consumption are from 6 to 10 a.m., and 5 to 9 p.m.
To participate, customers can go to tep.com, and click on a logo on the right hand side that says “PowerShift.”
“You answer some questions about your current energy use, and what changes you’re likely to make,” Salkowski said. “It would make a recommendation about which of our plans might make the most sense for you.”
People who can shift appliance use and other electricity-consuming activities to specific times of the day, or eliminate some usage entirely, are prime candidates for PowerShift rates.
The level of savings “really depends on you,” Salkowski said. “Customers need to be sure they’re ready to shift.”
Initial setup of the time-of-use pricing plan is free, including the installation of a new electric meter that tracks the number of kWh used, and when they are used.
TEP uses the information in calculating a bill.
TEP has offered time-of-use rates previously.
“These are different,” Salkowski said. “There are certainly more options. We wanted to provide consumers with a number of choices. Our new plans are certainly more flexible, particularly in the way they treat the weekends.”