Time of Use Shift

hydro

It has been a few years since the Smart Meters rolled out and Time of Use rates began for London Hydro users, so perhaps a refresher is in order!

WHAT IS TIME OF USE (TOU)?

TOU is the method used to calculate how much you will be charged for your electricity use. There are three different rates throughout the day and you will be charged a different rate for the time of the day in which you use it.

SIX MONTH SHIFT

Every six months, the times of the day that different rates are charged will shift. During the winter months, the peak pricing is in the morning and evenings (when demand is highest for heating) and during the summer months it’s peak is in the afternoon (when air conditioner/cooling demand is highest). The shift happens May 1 and November 1 of each calendar year.

RATES

The current rates as of May 1, 2015 are as follows:

Off-Peak: 8.0c/kWh

Mid-Peak: 12.2c/kWh

On-Peak: 16.1c/kWh

Weekends and Statutory Holidays are all off-peak rates.

KEEPING COSTS DOWN

Here are some tips for keeping your hydro bill down during the warmer months:

  • hang your laundry outside to dry on sunny and/or breezy days
  • do your laundry on the weekends or evenings
  • run the dishwasher in the evening
  • turn your pool filter off during the day or the afternoon and run it at night whenever possible
  • close your blinds on sunny days to block the heat
  • use fans at night instead of turning up the a/c
  • open your windows on breezy days or when the humidity drops
  • make sure that all appliances, lights and chargers are turned off/unplugged when you leave the house for the day
  • use a programmable thermostat to keep the house cooler when you are home and not use the a/c as much when you are out
  • try not to use the oven when the a/c is on or on the hottest days; use the BBQ or smaller appliances like the toaster oven which won’t heat up your house
  • power off your laptops, computers, phones, tablets, etc. every night while you are sleeping
  • turn off your smart phones/tablets when they’re charging – they’ll charge faster! – and then unplug the charger when you’re done

Earth Hour

earth

Once a year, for one hour, the Earth asks us to shut down and take a 60 minute time out from using electricity. Climate change effects us all, our weather, our landscape, our food, our habitat. Humans need to reduce their energy consumption, shrink their ecological footprint. Earth Hour is a great time to sit down with your children and discuss the impact we have on our environment and what we can do to scale back. No pressure, but last year London’s electricity use went UP during Earth Hour which was an awful embarrassment.

CHALLENGE

The challenge is to turn off as many electrical devices and appliances as is safe to do TODAY from 8:30 to 9:30pm. ¬†Turn off power bars, unplug chargers, turn off the TV, the computer, the lights, your laptop, your phone – yes, even those things running on battery power that require electricity to charge! Turn down the heat a degree or two, don’t open the fridge, don’t touch the stove or microwave. Can you do it for an entire hour?

FAMILY INVOLVEMENT

Many of us have small children that will be in bed during the real Earth Hour, but that doesn’t meant that you can’t get them involved. Schedule an hour earlier in the day and challenge yourselves to make it through without electricity or screens or anything that requires power. Do it over dinner time and get them to help you make a meal that doesn’t involve the stove. Do it over bedtime and have your stories by candlelight. Do it in the middle of the day and go outside! Make sure you talk to them about why you need to make this change and brainstorm ways that you can cut back on your electricity all through the year.

  • turn down the heat and use more blankets in the cold months
  • turn down the a/c and turn on fans in the warm months
  • unplug, unplug, unplug
  • turn off the lights!
  • only wash full loads of dishes or laundry
  • have one dinner each week without using appliances (take out doesn’t count!)
  • hang up your laundry to dry
  • open your dishwasher at the end of the cycle and let them air dry instead of heat dry
  • change and/or clean your filters regularly
  • wash laundry in cold water
  • switch out your old lightbulbs
  • before buying something, consider whether it can be reused or recycled when you’re done with it