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If you have a Time-of-Use (TOU) electricity plan for your home, you may usually save money by matching your energy consumption with peak and off-peak hours. You don’t have to consume less energy; all you have to do is change when you use it. (However, conserving energy will also help you save money!) 

If you have a Time-of-Use rate plan, you may make effective adjustments to take advantage of lower rates during off-peak hours and limit usage during peak hours with these six helpful recommendations on how to cut your energy consumption and lower your electricity bill.

1. Purchase a smart thermostat

The average home’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system consumes the most electricity. Installing a smart thermostat to regulate your HVAC system can help you save money on your heating and cooling expenses by shifting your HVAC usage to off-peak hours, resulting in lower energy bills. 

We propose using distinct temperature settings for your programmable thermostat according to peak, mid-peak, and off-peak periods to maximise your heating and cooling savings. Consider the following:

  • You can setup your thermostat to set the air conditioner to 78 degrees when everyone leaves the house during the summer. 
  • Because the sun sets later in the evening, the thermostat can be set to 75°F, making your home more comfortable when you return. 
  • Because you’ll pay a reduced cost during off-peak hours, you can programme the thermostat to drop a few more degrees. 

Ceiling fans are another fantastic way to circulate that treated air and keep your HVAC system from running for long periods of time. Just make sure your windows and doors are shut to avoid squandering the energy you’re using.

2. Use your large appliances during off-peak hours

Washing machines, dryers, and dishwashers are all high energy users. It might be time to upgrade to more energy-efficient models if they’re older models. You can still save money by altering when you use your appliances, regardless matter how new they are.

You can save money on your electricity bill by running the dishwasher right before night instead of straight after a meal. Laundry and drying can also be put off until later in the evening to help you save money. Both of these changes have the extra benefit of delaying the time that your water heater must replenish your heated water supply, lowering your overall heating expenditures.

3. When you leave the house, turn off the electricity

Remember to turn off the power while no one is home, especially during peak demand periods. You can minimise your TOU electricity bill and maximise your savings when energy is at its most expensive by developing the practise of unplugging electronics and turning off lights before leaving for the day’s activities. 

Do you know what vampire energy is? It’s the energy that some electronics consume when they’re plugged in, even though they appear to be “off.” Unplug devices such as video game consoles, televisions, and printers when not in use to keep vampires at bay. For added convenience, you can utilise a power strip to effortlessly disconnect gadgets without unplugging them.

4. Keep Your Electric Vehicle Charged (EV) When Rates Are Low 

The same recommendation applies to electric vehicles as it does to large appliances: Before charging your electric vehicle, wait for the price of electricity to reduce. Due to their large battery packs, electric and hybrid vehicles require a significant amount of electricity to fully charge, therefore reducing the charging time can save a lot of money.

To take advantage of off-peak prices and minimise your time-of-use electricity bill, you don’t have to turn the switch at precisely the proper time. You can programme “intelligent charging” in some EVs to start charging your battery whenever you choose. Simply programme the system to start when your off-peak electricity hours begin, and the vehicle will take care of the rest. 

While some electric vehicles lack clever charging capabilities, you can use a smart charger to take advantage of off-peak rates and accomplish the same effects. EV smart chargers are meant to turn off automatically when peak hours arrive, allowing you to charge for less time.

5. Put money towards solar energy and battery storage

Peak demand and higher electricity rates usually occur during the day when the sun is high in the sky and more people use air conditioning, or early in the morning when people use their heating system. As a result, solar energy has had some impact on peak and off-peak hours.

The traditional idea of peak electricity hours during the day is challenged by solar power. A residence with solar panels wants the sun’s rays because it helps the solar power system generate the most energy. As a result, solar panel owners’ TOU plans frequently begin at 5 p.m., when the sun begins to set, resulting in higher electricity prices as soon as their solar panels stop producing electricity. 

Solar battery storage can be beneficial in these circumstances. You may charge your solar batteries with excess solar energy during the day, and the stored electricity will be ready to power your home during the peak hours after sunset.

6. Sign up for net metering 

Net metering schemes are offered by some electric utility providers, allowing you to feed surplus electricity generated by your solar panels back into the grid. In exchange, you will receive a “credit” on your utility statement that you can use to any future energy drawn from the power grid, potentially lowering your time-of-use electricity price. 

Because the amount of net metering credit you receive is generally linked to the price of electricity, if you can feed energy back into the grid during peak hours, you can obtain more credit. You can store energy with a solar battery during off-peak hours and then release it into the grid during peak hours, helping to enhance efficiency.

How TOU, Solar, and Lower Energy Consumption Can Help You Save 

Some TOU-based electricity agreements may force you to pay peak demand pricing when your solar power equipment isn’t producing electricity. As a result, it’s critical to adopt new techniques and develop new habits that will help you avoid high energy prices and optimise the electricity generated by your solar panels. 

You may cut your time-of-use electricity cost and save even more money each month by making a few simple behavioural changes like utilising a smart thermostat, removing vampire energy, and altering when you use large appliances.