SandBox Solar: Solar Energy News


Homeowners: Be Prepared for Time-of-Day Pricing


Posted in: Homeowner | August 30, 2018

Time-of-Day Pricing | Sandbox Solar

In case you haven’t heard, the City of Fort Collins has released new Time-of-Day pricing, beginning in October 2018, that will greatly change how your bill is calculated. As you can see in this graphic, electricity used during peak hours, or hours in the evening, will cost you as much as 3x what it would normally run. Here at Sandbox Solar, we’re helping all Fort Collins Utilities users understand the implications of this change and how to avoid huge electricity bills. Read on to find out more:

Here’s the scenario. It’s a Tuesday evening in March. The kids need clean clothes for school tomorrow and dinner needs to be made. The clothes will be in the electric dryer for an hour, and you’re making a roasted chicken, which takes 1 hour and 15 minutes at 400ºF, then you have to run the dishwasher after, of course, and that takes an hour. All of these activities would normally happen during the peak hour time frame, meaning you could face a big bill at the end of the month if this is your normal routine.

The good news is that you can do something about it and save your family big money just by making small changes to your usual routine. Saving on energy costs is an exercise in stacking pennies, and if these activities can be intelligently modified throughout the course of a year, you will see significant savings for (free) behavior changes. This may be an unusual day, and the new TOD structure only applies to weekdays, but let’s say this happens half of the time during the week. This would be $273 of annual additional costs just associated with this chain of activities. An analysis was done in a previous EIB, and this one will undertake a similar analysis but with the new TOD price structure.

We’ve made the following assumptions to help us illustrate this scenario:

  • Non-Electric Heat Rate Schedule
  • Non-Summer Rate Schedule
  • On-Peak Pricing $0.2345 / kWh
  • Off-Peak Pricing $0.663 / kWh
  • Oven Usage – 2,400 Watts
  • Dryer Usage – 3,300 Watts
  • Dishwasher Usage – 1,500 Watts

If it is between 5 pm and 9 pm, it will cost $0.98 to cook the chicken, $0.77 to dry the clothes, and $0.35 to wash the dishes, for a total of $2.10 for the evening’s major energy consuming activities.

Now let’s look at a second scenario that isn’t obtrusive into your life. Maybe you use the electric savings to justify buying a new grill to avoid using the oven because more than likely you will not wait until the late evening to eat to save money on your bill. But what you will do is utilize the delayed start feature on your dishwasher to run it later in the night and try to do laundry later in the evening or on the weekends.

So by time-shifting two activities, our costs now are $0.98 to cook the chicken, $0.22 to dry the clothes, and $0.10 to wash the dishes for a total of $1.30. Now yearly savings will be $104 for making simple, unobtrusive choices about when to use energy. Let’s put that in bold–

Yearly savings for time-shifting just two activities: $104

Time-of-Day rates are coming to Northern Colorado whether we like it or not. So it’s best to start thinking ahead and planning your energy use for times when you’ll be paying less. Consider downloading our free energy monitoring guide here. In just 8 minutes, you’ll learn how to optimize your energy usage in the home, as well as get real-time data about usage during peak hours.

Energy monitoring is the perfect tool in light of the new Time-of-Day Pricing because it will help you make the changes necessary to save money and cut back on energy use. Contact us today to learn more about energy monitoring and how Sandbox Solar can help!

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