Time-of-use utility plans can save money, energy

As this newspaper reported, this summer in Phoenix was the hottest since temperature record-keeping began in 1895. White clothes wash temperature Now that the hot season is gone, we can relax again about the expense of our electricity bills.

But it’s also a good time to think about making an important change in our utility bills, an alternative that people often have never heard of or do not consider when they move to Arizona and sign up for electric service.

How to wash white t shirts without shrinking What’s the secret? Switch to a “time of day” or “time of use” price plan.

How many homes have these plans? According to Salt River Project, which has more than 971,000 electric customers, about 29 percent of residential customers have enrolled in a time-of-day price plan. How to clean smelly clothes washer Arizona Public Service, on the other hand, has about 1million residential customers, of which just over 51percent are in these plans.

So plenty of you homeowners out there could make the change and probably save money.

Why doesn’t everyone enroll? We don’t want to speculate too much, but many may be unaware of the plans or be confused about them, even though utilities try to educate customers about their options. How to wash clothes by hand with detergent Some may be just too busy to think about doing the research.

“If people want to figure out whether or not these price plans will work for them, we do give them 90 days to try them out,” says Kathleen Mascarenas, SRP media-relations representative. How to wash 100 wool pants “If they end up spending more on the new plan, they can switch back and we will refund the difference.”

Of course, some households have very low electric use to start with, for example, if your home or apartment is 1,100 square feet or less and only one or two people live in the house. When do you start washing baby clothes In cases like that, these plans may not be beneficial.

But if you have a larger home with several people, these plans can save a household hundreds of dollars annually, according to SRP. What water temperature do you wash dark clothes in The theory behind the plans is that you can save money on your bill overall if you avoid using electricity during the peak demand times, when utilities pay more for power.

We can’t list all the details, but here is how some plans work:

SRP, for example, has EZ-3 where customers can save an average of 6 percent annually over the Basic Plan by limiting on-peak energy use for three consecutive hours that cost more. How to wash rayon clothes without shrinking The customer can choose between 3 and 6 p.m. Washing newborn clothes before use or 4 and 7 p.m. How to clean my washing machine with vinegar and bleach for the peak charges. How to hand wash clothes in bathtub During the lower-cost off-peak hours in July and August, the customer pays 8.23 cents per kilowatt-hour; during on-peak hours, the customer pays 34.86 cents.

Did you read those statistics carefully? In those off-peak hours, you’re paying less than 25 percent of what you pay in peak hours.

On weekends and major holidays, customers are billed at the off-peak rates all day. How to wash your clothes From November through April, the time of year when you use less electricity, prices are lower.

According to Jenna Shaver of APS media relations, a popular APS plan is Time Advantage 7 p.m. How to wash white tablecloths to noon in which customers try to limit energy use in on-peak hours of noon to 7 p.m. How to wash white clothes with bleach and detergent Mondays through Fridays. How to clean washing machine Just as with SRP, weekends and major holidays are off-peak. How do you wash clothes with bleach From May to October, the customer pays 6.118cents per off-peak kilowatt-hour and 24.477 cents per on-peak kilowatt hour. How to clean shirt collar in washing machine Just as with SRP, during November through April, APS prices are lower. Does washing clothes in hot water shrink But of course, those aren’t the months when you run your air-conditioner.

It can be complicated comparing basic or standard plans that many homeowners have with the money-saving, time-of-day price plans.

For example, on the SRP Basic Plan, residential customers pay 11.04 to 12.70 cents per kilowatt-hour in July and August when they use from 701 to 2,000 kilowatt-hours each month. How to wash clothes in automatic washing machine But they pay an even higher rate if they go over 2,000. How to wash black clothes without lint Even a homeowner with a 1,200 square-foot house can often go over 2,000 kwh in the summer.

APS uses a similar but slightly different way to compute the price of power used during the summer for its Standard Plan. How to clean white clothes with vinegar You really have to study your own bill and check online using your utility’s comparison charts to see what works best.

If you sign up for a time-of-use plan, you can generally have it “installed” on your meter by the utility almost immediately. How to wash clothes for newborn baby You don’t need someone to come out to the house to program the change.

Here are more ideas on how to live with less electricity during the on-peak hours when your energy costs more:

Install timers on electric water heaters so they operate mainly in off-peak hours.

Do any major baking or cooking projects or any home repairs requiring electrically powered tools during off-peak hours.

Be sure to time your use of your electric washer, dryer and dishwasher to off-peak hours.

During the summer, if you expect to be at home during the expensive on-peak hours, you can precool your house. Wash dark clothes in cold water Let’s say your on-peak costly hours are from 3 to 6 p.m. How to clean washing machine filter At about noon, set your thermostat 4 to 6 degrees below your usual temperature setting. Wash white shirt with colors Then for the 3-6 p.m. How to wash cotton shirts without wrinkles hours, set the thermostat 4 to 5 degrees above your usual temperature so the air-conditioner runs very little, if at all.

By running the AC at a lower temperature earlier in the day, before peak price time arrives, you can cool down everything in your house. How to wash lacoste polo shirts Those cooler walls and pieces of furniture maintain the lower temperature in your rooms for a while so you may not notice the lack of AC.

Some homeowners go further and install computers on their electrical panels. How to wash baby clothes first time A computer can monitor levels of electrical use in your home and automatically shut down the air-conditioning or other appliances temporarily when the residents may be about to go over the level they want to pay in their plan, according to Steve Koepp of Advanced Home Systems of Phoenix. Do you need to wash new clothes before wearing them Most people hardly notice those temporary shutdowns, he says.

For more do-it-yourself tips, go to rosieonthehouse.com. How to keep white dress shirt collars clean An Arizona home building and remodeling industry expert for 25 years, Rosie Romero is the host of the syndicated Rosie on the House radio program heard in Phoenix on KTAR-FM (92.3) from 8-11 a.m. How to properly wash your clothes Saturdays. How to wash your clothes in the shower Call 888-767-4348.

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