Thursday, September 4, 2008

Challenge #16: Off-Peak Electricity

Time energy use for off-peak hoursI just read in the newspaper this morning that the electric company in a neighboring state offers their customers the options of being charged for electricity at different rates depending on the time of day. The rate is determined by the demand for electricity throughout the day. Electricity is more expensive at high noon, when offices are up and running across the whole country and A/Cs are cranking to compete with the heat of the day. Check you local municipality to see if this service is available in your area. A savvy consumer could really save some money.

Unfortunately for me, neither the great state in which I live nor the company from which I must purchase my electricity offer this service. However, I think it would be beneficial to try to use my electricity when the demand is less throughout the nation. At off-peak times, the electric companies can rely on energy productions through hydroelectric and nuclear means instead of "firing up" an additional coal burning furnace.

I live in the central time zone, so the demand for electricity is less in mornings until about 10 AM. It would put less demand on the energy producing systems if I ran my dish machine or clothes dryer before California comes online for the day. This is an easy habit shift to make.

Peak Energy Usageto anyone who tries out a similar "hourly pricing" or "smart metering" program for their utilities.

Conserve electrcityTiming my "elective" energy use for non-peak times will mean less energy must be generated - meaning less fossil fuels need to be burned.


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