The TOU rate enables participants to pay less for electricity used during off-peak hours (when electricity demand and costs are lower), while paying more for electricity used during on-peak hours (when demand and costs are higher). If this sounds crazy, consider that 88% of the hours in a year are off-peak, meaning participants pay significantly less for electricity used during those hours. During on-peak hours, participants pay more—which is a great motivator to decide whether you really need to operate everything that would normally be on.
Obviously, when it’s 95 degrees outside, no one is going to turn off their air conditioner completely between 1:00pm and 7:00pm on weekdays just because those are on-peak hours. But, customers may decide to raise their thermostat to 76 or 78 degrees so they use less during that period. Or, if they typically leave the AC blasting at 72 degrees while at work/school, they may decide to program their thermostat to 80 degrees while they are away. On really hot days, the AC is still going to operate—but less than it would have, so customers save.
TOU participants in the Smart Grid Demonstration were so motivated that they had the greatest electricity reductions, using 5.62% less electricity, compared to the 2.3% reduction among the entire Smart Grid Demo group. On average, TOU participants in the Smart Grid Demo saved $82.68 annually due to their greater attention to electricity use.
About Peak Hours and Your MLGW Bill
Save money by using electricity during low-cost, off-peak hours and minimizing use during on-peak hours:
(Dec. 1 - Mar. 31)
4 am - 10 am
|All other hours, plus holidays*|
(June 1 - Sept. 30)
1 pm - 7 pm
|All other hours, plus holidays*|
|Spring & Fall Hours
(April 1 - May 31)
(Oct. 1 - Nov. 30)
|None||All hours, plus holidays*|
|*Off-peak rates apply all weekend long and on six federal holidays - even if the holiday is observed on a weekday, you save. New Year's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day observances are billed at off-peak rates.|
Customers with electric smart meters can use the Rate Comparison Calculator in My Account at www.mlgw.com to see the impact TOU would have on their bills. Make selections for load shifting and conservation actions to see how you can control costs even more. (Twelve months of smart meter data are required to get the most accurate calculations.)
Comments from Time-of-Use Rate customers:
"Smart Meters, In Home Displays (IHD) and Time Of Use (TOU) billing all proved to be incredibly effective tools to teach us the customers to be more informed and intelligent in our use of utilities. We hope the program will be rolled out system wide in the near future. It's a win for the consumer, MLG&W, our country and the environment."
"The most difficult part (of being on the TOU rate) was during the summer period between the hours of 5pm and 8pm. It was difficult to avoid turning on the A/C. The rest of the time it was really easy to adapt to the time of use schedule."
"My costs for electricity dropped almost 50% once the meter was installed. That's all that needs to be said."
"We have become much more conscious of electricity use. I have adhered to the Time-of-Use rate and saved on utility bills. We have really appreciated your efforts to help (us) save energy."