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Your power bill: Are you using energy during the most expensive times of the day?

Most of us have a Standard Use Rate. But if you have Time of Use rate, there are cheaper and more expensive times to run appliances.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — This tweet from a co-worker caught my eye:

"Does anyone else wait until off times to do laundry and dishes because electricity is cheaper or is it just me? Seriously, it's a thing."

She posted it at 5:14 AM. So, is this a thing? The answer is yes and no.

“Most customers for Duke Energy are on a Standard Use Rate and the Standard Rate the customers are on is generally the same at all hours of the day so there really isn't a time when energy is more expensive during a typical day,” explained Jeff Brooks of Duke Energy.

You noticed he said, “most." There is an option to be billed for Time of Use Rate.

Let's look at it:

Credit: WFMY

Standard Rate -  9.3 cents per kilowatt hour.  

Time of Use Rate - 6.9 cents per kilowatt hour during peak hours; 5.5 cents per kilowatt during the off hours

Peak hours in the summer are 1 PM to 7 PM and winter 7 AM to NOON. This is all Monday through Friday.

This Time of Use is two to four cents cheaper per hour than the Standard Use but there's also something called a Demand Charge for Time of Use customers. It's anywhere from $10 to $28 a month. You'll need to tally it up to see if the time of use will help you save money or not.

“A lot of people ask us, ‘Do you know how much energy I'm using on my television right now?’. No, we typically don't.  We only know the energy that is coming through your meter at the edge of your house,” said Brooks.

So, then how do they get this information they send out that tells you where you can save on each kind of appliance?  Brooks says Duke Energy has a formula that calculates the typical appliance use over time, along with the information you've given duke energy about the kinds of appliances or how you use energy in your home.

Did you know?

“You can log into your account and see every hour how you used energy and that can help you see which days you use the most energy and develop strategies to save energy before the bill arrives in the mail.”

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