An often over-looked subject in energy efficiency is time of use and peak and non-peak times. What this means is that when you use energy is just as important as how much you use. So not only do we recommend using as little energy as possible, we also recommend you use the most energy at certain times of the day and night.
Peak and non-peak times vary by location, time of year and season, although most generally have on –peak hours as between 12:00pm to 8:00pm. They also change by circumstance, should there be any transmission lines damaged or when generating facilities close. These hours were defined as times when the demand for electricity threatens to overcome the supply.
When it comes to saving money by way of energy efficiency, using your most energy during the off-peak hours is key. This is because electric companies actually charge higher rates during on-peak hours than off. Electric companies offer this incentive because it helps reduce their peak power demands and costs. There are many different programs electric and utility companies use to help residents and businesses determine when they use the most energy. With this information, people can then change the times they use said energy from on- to off-peak hours. It’s typically recommended that you use no more than 20% off your total energy use during on-peak periods.
Everyone can benefit from switching their primary energy usage to off-peak hours, but owners of hybrid and electric vehicles should especially consider the programs their utility company offers. Since these vehicles are typically charged overnight, there could be significant savings involved. Either way, we encourage everyone to start thinking not only about how much energy they use, but when they use it. Together, these efforts can make for a greener world.