Learn to Use a Time-of-Use Electrical Services Plan Effectively
Electricity is the one utility consumers control on an individual or single business level. Decisions about how much electricity to consume, when to consume it, and how best to use electrical services, ultimately determine utility costs. Whether you’re looking to save on residential energy costs or energy costs to run a small business, understanding time-of-use electrical services plans can make a difference.
In most instances, power is roughly 40 per cent cheaper during the off-peak hours of 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. Why? Overall demand is lowest during nights, weekends and certain times of year, so these off-peak times enjoy the lowest prices the electricity market has to offer. Armed with this knowledge, residential consumers enjoy a wide range of opportunities to manage the costs of electrical services and use… opportunities that don’t require washing laundry in the wee hours of the night.
A host of small appliances and power drains add hundreds of dollars to your utility bill each year. Use a power bar for computers, televisions, battery chargers and other devices that draw minute amounts of electricity, and switch off the power bar when these appliances are not in use. Further target electrical services inefficiencies by turning off computer monitors when not in use and powering down computers that will not be in use for two hours or more.
Electrical Services Time-of-Use Tip #2: Use Cold Water
Whenever possible, wait until the weekend to do laundry and save a third of the cost. When this is not possible, cold water may be the answer. Presumably uncomfortable for taking showers, using cold water to do laundry can help lower the costs of electric water heating. Plus, many newer detergents feature effective, cold-water formulas. Apart from using cold water for to wash your clothes, using an inside-mounting clothesline to dry laundry can save hundreds of dollars in electricity each year.
Electrical Services Time-of-Use Tip #3: Use an Electrical Thermal Storage System (ETS)
An ETS is used in conjunction with an off-peak electrical services program, and works by storing electric heat in ceramic blocks during off-peak/low-rate hours. The heating system shuts down when rates increase and the stored heat is released from the bricks to warm the home. Hot water tanks can also be heated during off-peak hours. Additionally, a hot water tank jacket will keep water at its peak temperature for longer, eliminating the need for the heating element to kick in as often.
Businesses can also take advantage of time-of-use plans by reducing or shifting their energy use during on-peak periods, to avoid higher prices. This is possible, by adopting no-cost habits such as making the most of natural light, upgrading to more energy-efficient lighting and equipment models, or using task-specific lighting to reduce the amount of energy consumed. In addition, your business may qualify for incentive and rebate programs, such as BC Hydro’s Product Incentive Program (PIP), based on energy-efficient equipment and lighting upgrades. Ask your 1-888-burnt-out? electrical services contractor for more details.
In addition to taking advantage of an electrical services time-of-use plan, monitoring tools, such as watt meters, will allow you to test appliances to see how much energy they consume. Making the shift to using less energy during on-peak hours takes time, but persistence will produce results over several billing cycles.
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