Timing your electricity use

You probably got that little card in the mail at the beginning of summer that informed you that, in Ontario, Time of Use prices were starting to be applied to your hydro bill. But maybe you weren’t really sure what this meant or how it affects your energy use and your costs.

Basically, time of use prices take into account how much electricity we use and what times of day we’re most using it.

The Ontario Energy Board developed this price plan to provide stable and predictable electricity pricing so that we, the consumers, pay for electricity in a way that better reflects the actual cost of producing it.

Much like long distance phone rates change throughout the day, so too, electricity prices are charged per kilowatt-hour and also change throughout the day to reflect the changes in production costs at those different times of day.

The goal is to provide incentive for us to shift some of our consumption away from high consumption (or “on-peak”) periods. By doing so, you can actually save money on your bill as it means that the electricity generators will be needed less so costs on the production end are less, and, less air pollution is being created as well.

Of course, it’s impossible to shift all of your electricity to off-peak use hours, but the more you can shift, the more cost efficient it is for you in the end. Some simple measures can be taken to change some of you habits, and therefore, some of your on-peak house usage. For instance, instead of running the dishwasher right after dinner, turn it on at 9 p.m. during the week just before you go to sleep. Or, do more laundry on weekends, which is when electricity prices are lowest.

Of course, having energy efficient appliances in the first place will also help you save energy, so for more information on the best appliances for your lifestyle, visit www.scratchanddent.ca or stop by the store at 407 Gage Avenue, Unit #4 in Kitchener. A friendly staff member would be happy to help you or take your questions at 519-743-3623.