If you are Fort Collins, Colorado resident you are no doubt wondering how Time of Use or Time of Day (TOD) electric pricing will affect your energy bill. You might also be wondering what Time of Use pricing means exactly and how will it impact your electric bills.
What Is Time of Use Electricity Pricing?
Effective October of 2018 Fort Collins Utilities will transition to Time of Use or Time of Day (TOD) electric pricing for all residential customers. The price you pay for electricity will be based on how much and what time of day you consume the power. Instead of a tiered system that charges higher rates the more electricity you use the new pricing system will charge up to three times more for electricity used during designated peak hours while lowering the rate for electricity used during off-peak hours.
There are summer and non-summer peak and off-peak hours so when you use electricity will be as important as how much you use when it comes to the new pricing system. Usage during peak hours will be charged about three times the normal rate while electricity consumed during off-peak hours will be approximately 30% less.
The new system has two versions, one for those with gas heat and one for those with the electric heat, which is less efficient but common in older homes and rental properties. The two versions are for people with electric heating because they can only do so much to limit their energy consumption during the winter months.
How Time of Use Pricing is Structured
Summer peak hours are May to September, Monday through Friday, from 2-7 PM. Off-peak hours are all other hours of the day, weekends and holidays.
Non-summer peak hours are October to April, Monday through Friday, from 5-9 PM. Off-peak hours are all other hours of the day, weekends and holidays.
On-peak prices will be approximately three times higher than off-peak rates reflecting the time of day when the demand and cost of electricity increases. Fort Collins Utilities says that if you use over 700 kWh (kilowatts) of electricity a month, you will have an additional $1.76 applied per kilowatt-hour used except for customers with electric heat.
“The majority of non-summer weekdays (20 hours), all weekends, and major holidays have off-peak pricing that is approximately 30% LESS than current electric rates.
The majority of each summer weekday (19 hours), all weekend and major holidays have off-peak pricing approximately 30% LESS than the current electric rates.” ~ fcgov.com/TOD
The pricing structure will be similar to using rideshare programs like Uber or Lyft, flying at the holidays or over the weekend and going to the movies, all industries that charge more for the most in-demand times of the day.
How Will the Time of Use Rate Structure Impact Fort Collins Residents?
Fort Collins residents with electric heat and no central air conditioning will most likely see a slight increase in their electricity bills during the winter. However, this will be partially offset by a decrease in their summer electric bills.
Fort Collins Utilities does not consider the rate structure change to be a rate hike nor do they anticipate receiving additional revenue based on the Time of Use prices. The tiered pricing is to encourage energy conservation when demand for electricity is at the highest.
Residents With Solar Panels
Those customers with solar PV or net-metered rates will continue to receive credits for all solar energy returned based on the on-peak and off-peak hours. Time of Use pricing is usually favorable to homes with solar power as the panels are producing most of the electricity used during peak hours meaning potentially lower electric bills.
How Can I Keep My Electricity Costs Down?
You could see a hike in your energy bills with the new TOD pricing, but it is possible to keep your electric bill manageable.
Things like switching to LED light bulbs, keeping the AC set to 78 degrees during summer daytime hours and doing laundry on the weekends will keep your energy consumption lower during those on-peak hours and your bills from increasing.
A Home Energy Audit Could Save You Money
Fort Collins residents would benefit from a professional home energy audit by the energy experts at REenergizeCO in light of the new Time of Use pricing system. They can help you determine where you may be losing cooled or heated air and help you have a more energy efficient home all-around. Investing in a home energy audit could save you hundreds of dollars every year on your energy costs while giving you a more environmentally friendly and comfortable living space.
We are here to answer any questions homeowners may have about home insulation, energy audits, and solar power.Contact Us