As the hot summer months approach in the Valley of the Sun, APS and SRP customers are noticing a huge spike in their utility bills. On May 1, aka “May Day,” every year, APS and SRP transition from low winter rates to high cost summer rates, just in time for the start of hot weather and the use of air conditioning to stay cool. Perhaps, yet another reason why “Mayday” is known as an international distress signal!?
Some APS and SRP customers don’t know that they can lower their utility bills by using most of their energy during off-peak hours, and managing how they use on-peak energy.
What are off-peak hours?
APS customers on the TOU-E Saver Choice rate plan are charged about $.11 per kWh during off-peak hours, verses about $.26 per kWh if the consumer were to use electricity during on-peak hours. Off-peak hours for APS customers are weekdays Monday-Friday 8pm-3pm, all day Saturday and Sunday, and most holidays, and for SRP customers, summer off-peak hours are 8:00PM to 2:00PM. For SRP customers, and APS customers on demand rate plans, it can be more complicated, but there are a lot of similarities in how to save big.
Customers can take advantage of the off-peaks hours in several ways:
Do your chores during off-peak hours
Do your chores later in the day, after you eat dinner or before you go to bed, when you wake up in the morning and on weekends. Running the dishwasher or doing laundry late at night, earlier in the day or on the weekend can help you save more on your electricity costs. Your clothes dryer, hot water heater and dishwasher are some of the top energy consumers in most homes.
Use ceiling fans
Whether you are home or away during on-peak hours, adjust your thermostat and leave your ceiling fans on. This will allow your home to maintain reasonable temperatures and use less energy from the grid.
Take advantage of rate plans offered by APS or SRP that best fit your lifestyle and energy consumption.
Time-of-Use rate plans offered by APS and SRP allow consumers to adjust their energy use to fit their lifestyle while also taking advantage of lower cost off-peak hours. There are multiple plans available. Some charge different rates for energy during peak and off-peak periods, while others offer super low rates during off-peak periods, but then include demand charges during peak times.
For more information about APS rate plans, visit: https://www.aps.com/en/Residential/Service-Plans/Compare-Service-Plans
For more information about SRP rate plans, visit: https://www.srpnet.com/menu/electricres/priceplans.aspx
Combine rate plans with solar + battery storage
Combining solar and battery storage with the rate plan which is most advantageous for you, will help you save energy during on-peak hours and use more of the energy you produce during off-peak hours.
Consider a demand rate plan
These rate plans can be trickier for many consumers, but for those who are looking to expand their savings even more with solar + battery systems, it can get even better. These rate plans have three different parts: a demand charge, an energy charge for the amount of energy used, and a basic service charge. The energy charge is as low as $.04 per kWh, keeping the overall cost down as long as demand is managed during peak hours.
Manage your energy consumption and demand, solar energy production and energy storage schedules to maximize your savings on any of these rate plans.
- Solar energy production is during the day, typically 8:00AM to 6:00PM
- Unless you use more energy during the best hours for solar production, much of your solar energy is exported to the grid
- So, you want to store your unused solar energy to use later in the day
- Batteries are a great way to store solar energy, but your hot water heater and your home itself can also be used to store this energy, as thermal energy.
- Allow your hot water heater to heat the water until the start of your peak period each day. It will stay hot for hours, at least until the end of your peak period.
- Super-cool your house until your peak period starts each day, and you will use less peak cost energy to keep it comfortable until off-peak rates start again.
- Remember those chores that increase your energy consumption? The dishwasher, clothes dryer, anything requiring the use of your hot water heater, can use less expensive energy between during all off-peak hours. In fact, if you can do more of these chores while the sun is shining, you will use more of your own solar energy.
- An energy consumption meter can show you real-time energy usage and demand, and some of them can show you usage and demand for each of your major appliances. These meters are relatively inexpensive and well worth it.
Contact Sunny Energy
Everybody uses energy in different ways, but the basic concepts of how to use it wisely can apply to everyone. Finding ways to make it work for you takes a little trial-and-error. It also helps to get started with the best tools for the task, without breaking your bank account.
Sunny Energy can help Phoenix homeowners understand how to get started managing their own energy to save money during both on-peak and off-peak hours. Some consumers dive in and invest in solar, battery storage and energy consumption management tools to take advantage of the greatest savings as soon as possible. Others get started with energy consumption management to first understand how they use energy, and how it affects their utility bills, before buying solar and battery storage at a later date.
No matter how you want to get started, Sunny Energy is here to help you, just like we’ve helped thousands of other consumers take control of their own energy usage, solar production and energy storage, saving thousands of dollars.
Sunny Energy is consistently named a top solar installer by Solar Reviews and a top solar contractor by Solar Power World. Sunny Energy proudly holds the number one position in terms of overall customer ratings, when viewed across numerous review sites, such as Google, Yelp, BBB, Solar Reviews, EnergySage, and more.