The time-of-use program is a rate option available to Tideland EMC's residential members. The program has proven most successful for members with higher than average energy consumption. If you use less than 1,500 kilowatt hours per month it would be considerably harder to save money on the time-of-use rate. Savings are not guaranteed so you have to be vigilant about maintaining an off-peak lifestyle to reap benefits from the program.
TIME-OF-USE RATE SCHEDULE
Basic Facilities Fee: $27.50/month (overhead service) $29.80/month (underground service)
All Kilowatt Hours Year Round: 8.61¢
Winter On-Peak Demand Charge: $10.06/kWd (November-April)
Summer On-Peak Demand Charge $11.01/kWd (May-October)
*All Tideland EMC rate schedules are subject to the wholesale power cost adjustment factor and NC sales tax
Winter (October 16-April 15)
6 am to 9 am (Monday-Friday)
Summer (April 16-October 15)
4 pm to 8 pm (Monday-Friday
All weekends are off-peak
New Years Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, the Friday after Thanksgiving and Christmas Day
WHAT IS TIME-OF-USE?
The time-of-use concept is really nothing new. If you have ever delayed making a phone call until rates went down, then you have already benefited from time-of-use savings. If you went to the movie matinee to save on the cost of admission, you've already reaped the rewards of off-peak pricing.
Tideland EMC, like you, purchases electricity from a power company. Generally it is quite inexpensive to generate and buy electricity. However, when electricity is in great demand, older, less efficient power plants are used to meet the additional load requirements. At these times, called “peak periods,” electricity can be very expensive to generate and the costs are passed on to Tideland EMC and our members.
Therefore, the best way to reduce everyone’s power bill is to avoid an electric system “traffic jam”. We can do this by shifting the use of electric appliances to off-peak hours.
HOW DO I SAVE WITH TIME-OF-USE?
The time-of-use rate structure is similar to the way Tideland EMC is charged for power. All of your kilowatt hours will be discounted, only 8.61¢ per kwh. That’s significantly lower than our standard residential rates of 11.49¢ in winter and 12.48¢ in summer.
However, by replacing your existing meter with a time-of-use meter, Tideland will be able to calculate how fast you use electricity during the “on-peak periods.” Once a month we will determine your highest use of electricity during a fifteen minute on-peak period. Based on this reading, called “kW demand”, we will calculate your on-peak demand charge. For example, ten 100-watt light bulbs, when lit at the same time, generate 1 kW of demand.
The more electrical appliances you use simultaneously during fifteen minutes of on-peak time, the greater your demand charge will be.
However, demand is not cumulative. Your demand reading today is not added to your demand reading tomorrow. It is simply the highest peak you reached during a single fifteen minute on-peak period. Each month when your meter is read by the co-op, your demand reading will be reset to zero.
HOW MUCH CAN I SAVE?
We find that our time-of-use members typically save the equivalent of 1 to 2 electric bills a year. The amount you save will be determined by the commitment you make to maintaining an off-peak lifestyle. For example, you can put timers on some appliances (i.e. water heaters, pool pumps, or hot tubs) so they won’t operate on-peak or you can simply schedule tasks on your own during off-peak hours. However, simply signing up for the time-of-use rate will not automatically lower your electric bill.
IS THIS RATE FOR EVERYONE?
No. Many families have no choice but to run major electrical appliances during on-peak periods. For example, if you have a storage electric water heater you can put a timer on it to make sure it operates off-peak. If you have an on-demand electric water heater you don't have that option, so this rate would not right for you.
Tideland’s time-of-use rate may be right for you if you can answer yes to the following:
DO I HAVE TO GO ON THE RATE RIGHT AWAY?
No. Tideland will give you up to four months to experiment, with the program. At the end of four months you should have a good idea wheth er time-of-use is right for you. If you decide not to go on the rate, we’ll remove the time-of-use meter at no cost.To have your account officially changed to the time-of-use rate please call the Marketing and Member Services Department at 252-944-2410.
HOW DO I GET STARTED?
Call Tideland at 1-800-637-1079 and ask for a time-of-use breakeven calculation. Our marketing department will run the calculation and contact you for follow-up. If you want to proceed after an initial consultation, we’ll install a time-of-use meter. If you have a 400 amp service let us know because a special meter will be required.
When your time-of-use meter is installed, take a look at the different readings. The display that reads “Peak kWd” is your on-peak demand. Keep that number as low as possible. The date and time are also displayed. Time is based on a twenty-four hour clock. If the time is off more than a few minutes let us know right away.
CAN I SWITCH BACK TO THE NORMAL RESIDENTIAL RATE SCHEDULE WITHOUT A PENALTY?
If you actually go on the time-of-use rate and then decide to go back to normal residential rate there will be a $20 fee to help Tideland EMC offset labor and administrative costs. However, there is no charge for giving the program a trial run.
MUST MY HOME BE TOTAL ELECTRIC?
No. However, savings may be limited depending on the number of non-electric appliances you have. Remember, the higher your total monthly energy use is the more potential you have to save.
I HAVE A HEAT PUMP WITH AUXILIARY HEAT STRIPS. DON’T THEY CREATE A LOT OF KW DEMAND?
Yes. Therefore, you may want to install a programmable thermostat designed for heat pumps.
I HAVE A WEEKEND COTTAGE ON TIDELAND EMC’S SYSTEM. CAN I SIGN UP FOR THE TIME-OF-USE RATE?
Yes. But if you decide to stay at your vacation home during the weekdays you will need to be extra careful to observe off-peak hours.
For more information call 1-800-637-1079.