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  • Writer's pictureKent Hobart

Saving with Time-of-Use Rates

We all have an intersection we wait at during the week, that we fly through on Sunday morning. Weekday schedules used by most schools and businesses put added stress on the traffic grid during rush hour every week and the same is true of the electric grid.

Your electric provider must be ready to meet the demand for electricity whenever it occurs, which means both power plants and the wires required to bring electricity to customers must be sized to effectively provide power to all customers when demand on the system peaks. System peaks, think of them as “rush hour” on the electric grid, are typically driven by two things:

  1. Operating hours for schools and businesses

  2. Extreme seasonal temperatures

Utilities must build and invest to meet these system peaks. They have a vested interest in slowing their growth. One of the ways utilities do this is by offering incentive programs designed to encourage customers to use electricity outside of the peak hours. Time-of-Use rates that charge a higher rate during peak hours and a discounted rate during non-peak hours are one of these incentive programs. So why do time-of-use rates hold particular promise for churches?

We mentioned earlier that the standard Monday through Friday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm schedules used by most schools and businesses play a large part in driving electric demand. In addition, cold winter temperatures tend to increase weekday morning and evening demand, while hot summer temperatures typically push demand higher in the afternoon and early evening. Specific peak hours vary by utility and your region of the country, but one thing is almost a certainty, regardless of location weekends will be considered off peak.

Most churches set their highest kW demand on Sunday morning and will also use a significant percentage of the month’s kilowatt hours on Sunday’s as well. Because time-of-use rates offer electricity at a discounted price during the weekend hours, many churches find they can lower their total monthly cost for electricity by switching to a time-of-use rate.

It’s almost a certainty your electric provider offers optional time-of-use rates that are worth evaluating. But, the utility won’t move you to that rate without you asking. You can start the exploration process with a call to your electric provider:

  1. Confirm they offer time-of-use rates and that you qualify.

  2. Request a time-of-use analysis if they have your historic usage data available in a format that would allow an accurate analysis.

  3. If they don't have the data available, ask if they will install the metering.

Still have questions? Call us at (813) 917-8952 and let us help with an answer.


Hello, I'm Kent Hobart and I'm different. I've been blessed with a knowledge of utility billing and rate structures that is rare and yes, a little strange.

I started Utility Refund Specialists as a way to use my unique skills in serving organizations like yours. We audit our client's utility bills and identify errors in the billing that earn them refunds from their utility providers. I know, it sounds crazy but 3 in every 4 clients we work with have errors in their bills.

The incidence of errors is so frequent, and the refund amounts are large enough, it is worth our time to perform the audits for free. We only get paid after we secure you a refund!

Interested in learning more? Use this link to set up a 15- minute discovery call. Want to talk sooner, give me a call at (813) 917-8952 or send me an email.

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