What Is the Cheapest Time of Day to Use Electricity?

What Is the Cheapest Time of Day to Use Electricity?

In managing your energy costs, understanding the prices for power is probably the most important factor. It varies according to a few things. These include where you are located, the structure your supplier has in place for pricing etc. This article looks at when to use less energy. We will also see practices that help us reduce our power usage, learn about phantom power, best appliance usage practices, and more.

Electricity Prices in Canadian Provinces

In Canada, the price of electricity varies from province to province with a $0.192/kWh average residential price. When excluding territories, this average drops to $0.155/kWh. What's even more amazing is that the prices have risen from $0.174 in 2020 with a decrease to $0.135 without territories. However, rates are as low as $0.078/kWh in Québec and go as high as $0.41/ kWh in the Northwest Territories.

On the other hand, for typical consumption by a household of 1,000 kWh per month, the differences are even starker: 25.8¢/kWh in Alberta, 11.4¢/kWh in British Columbia, and as low as even 7.8¢/ kWh in Québec. That is because of different rate design constructs across the country.

What is Time-of-Use Pricing (TOU)? 

It is the valuing of electricity based on an increase or decrease in cost at a given second of the day. At peak time, when most people are home, power prices will rise, majorly in the wee hours of the morning and early evenings. In reverse, during work hours, low demand powers push the price of power down. TOU rate plans are intentionally designed to allow consumers to shift their energy use away from peak times in order to take some of the pressure off the grid during those hours.

TOU pricing varies in Canada from one province to another, whereby some provinces provide this tariff only to industrial customers, while for others, like Ontario, it is a must for residential users. In order for consumers to understand and manage their use, TOU rates require smart meters that measure consumption by the hour. This way, saving consumers some fraction in their bills means contributing to much-needed system efficiency and reliability.

Moving the use of energy to off-peak hours further benefits the environment by reducing the extra load on power plants, particularly peakers that are at least partially run on dirty fossil fuels and spew more emissions during high use times. Less energy-efficient homes, in turn, add to the carbon footprint in utility expense bills, especially during peak load times.

What Is the Cheapest Time of Day to Use Electricity in Canada? 

In Canada, cheap electricity is used during off-peak hours which consist mainly of 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. But, it can be noticed that the rates of off-peak time have a very large gap as compared to mid and on-peak rates applied during the hours when demand rises. For instance, the off-peak price of hydro in Ontario is about 8.7 cents per kilowatt-hour, compared to peak hour prices of up to 18.2 cents per kWh. Now, that's a big difference as far as savings on the electricity bill go when you shift energy use to off-peak times.

Also, there are variations in electricity rate systems across most provinces in Canada. A good example is the Residential Conservation Rate for British Columbia, where the rate increases with the use of electricity. Alberta uses demand systems with the peak usage rated higher at both winter and summer rates. It is therefore critical to understand how you are rated in your area and what possible alternative pricing schemes are out there to maximize your savings.

Tips for Saving More Electricity Cost

Below are various approaches to achieve this:

  • Understanding and Cutting Phantom Power

Phantom power, otherwise known as standby power, is essentially the power consumed by appliances while being turned off but still remaining plugged in. This accounts for a good amount of your energy bill. To reduce phantom power, one would just unplug the devices, or use a power strip with a switch to cut off power to multiple devices in a row.

  • Improving Heat and Light Usage for Better Efficiency

Improving the efficiency with which you heat and light things can produce tremendous energy savings. Consider a programmable thermostat for heating, which can control the temperature according to your schedule, so it won't heat your home when nobody is around. That will save you huge amounts of energy. Use the new efficient LED bulbs since they use the very minimum energy possible unlike the traditional incandescent bulbs.

  • Changing Your Laundry Routine for Energy Savings

Changing your laundry routine can also lead to lower electricity bills. For instance, washing clothes in cold water save up to 80% of the power used by the machine. Besides, a major part of that energy is used for water heating. Try air-drying your clothes. But, if you must use a dryer, run it at off-peak times when electricity rates are lower.

  • Optimal Use of Appliances for Lower Energy Costs

Use your appliances effectively so that you can reduce the cost of using energy. For instance, run your dishwasher and washing machine with full loads, and if available, run in the energy-saving modes. This not only saves water but also reduces energy use in these appliances.

  • Timing and Efficiency in Air Conditioner Usage

Try to avoid using the air conditioner during peak periods when you pay the most for electricity. Do this as well by cleaning and maintaining the air conditioner and through a programmable thermostat for temperature setting depending on your schedule.

  • Choosing Your Electricity Billing Plan - Time-of-Use vs. Tiered Pricing

What is your most feasible electricity billing option that could save you on energy costs? During the course of the day, time-of-use pricing has the rates of electricity going up and down; hence, it has less-rated prices for off-peak hours and higher rated prices for on-peak hours. Tiered pricing has the cost per kilowatt-hour increased for each increase in the electricity used.

  • Timing Your Electricity Use - Winter vs. Summer Rates

Understanding these seasonal variations will help you plan your usage in such a way that you will take advantage of the lower rates. For instance, during winters, the use of electricity in Ontario skyrockets two times a day: in the morning as people wake up and return at night. The rate is maximized at these two peak periods of the day when demand is highest.

  • Using Solar Generator Kits

More to the above tips, consider investing in some of the renewable sources of energy, such as solar generators. Not only do they help in generating electricity for your house, but they can also be a way to counter your energy costs. Below are some generators that one can consider:

BLUETTI AC200L+PV350

It is a high-power solar generator with 2,400W of AC output and a lifting mode of 3,600W, having a relatively huge capacity of 2,048Wh, expandable up to 4,096Wh using a B230 battery, or even up to 8,192Wh using two B300 batteries. That makes it versatile for various power needs. That is not all, however: it is super-fast recharging, recharging from 0% to 80% in just 45 minutes with a 2,400W AC input. With six ways to recharge, including a maximum solar input of 1,200W, you are assured flexibility and convenience. It also features smart control and monitoring with the BLUETTI App, making power usage very easily manageable.

The PV350 Solar Panel is also compatible with the AC200L but comes with a higher conversion rate, an easy set up mechanism with a kickstand, and a splash-proof design. Moreover, it is foldable, easy to carry, and usable outdoors.

BLUETTI AC240+PV200

This is another powerhouse solar generator with an IP65 water and dust protection. It has an AC output of 2,400W and a power lift mode going up to 3,600W. As high as the expandable battery capacity goes, one can obtain 10,136Wh with four B210 batteries, and it supports parallel connection for a capacity of 20,272Wh and 4,800W/120V power. The AC240, similar to the AC200L, charges from 0-80% in 45 minutes on an input of 2,200W of AC; it has a maximum solar input of 1,200W. It also features smart control and monitoring through the BLUETTI App and gives seamless UPS in 15ms.

With the efficient monocrystalline solar cells at 23.4%, the PV200 Solar Panel is compatible with the AC240. Being foldable, the design enjoys a good feature of portability owing to a long-lasting ETFE coat. It can also be used with most solar generators using MC4 connectors. Finally, it has a 12-month warranty that would give peace of mind with your investment.

Final Thoughts

In summary, surely knowing and managing your electricity consumption is a savior. Save on electricity by doing the small bits, like using energy-saving devices, minimizing phantom power, and timing your use of electricity. In addition, the right billing plan and investing in a renewable source of electricity will go further toward increasing your savings. After all, remember that every little bit does count toward a more sustainable and cost-effective future.

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