Time Of Use Electrical Pricing


Time Of Use Electrical Pricing

Smart Meterssmart electrical meter

Smart Meters have the ability to meter/measure your electrical use, based on the time of day. Your usage is then sent back to the utilities central office and your bill is calculated based on their "time of use" rates. These rates can change several times during the 24 hour day and usually change based on the seasons of the year.

Why use Time-of-Use vs Flat Rate?

Your power utility must have capacity to produce enough electricity to cover the highest "peak" demand during the day. This usually happens on a very hot summer day, during the week, in the middle of the day. For example, during a heat wave on a Tuesday, at 11:00 a.m. At this point in time, most people who work, are at work, most factories, offices and shops are in full production AND people have left their air conditioning running in their home. During this period, your electrical utility has every possible generator running to meet the demand. This includes the hydro electric plants, nuclear power plants, coal generators, etc.

With Time-Of-Use pricing, the end consumer may pay 3 or 4 times as much per kilowatt-hour for "peak" electricity as compared to their "off-peak" electricity. Therefore their is an incentive for discretional power use, to be moved into the off-peak timeframe. This levels the electrical usage for the Power Utility which may mean fewer on-demand generators are required.

On-Demand Generators

solar photovoltaic panel

These electrical generators can be turned-on when there is extra demand. Nuclear reactors for example, must run 24 hours per day and can take weeks to turn on once they have been shut down. A COAL GENERATOR can be fired up each morning and shut down at night, in order to meet the extra daily demands.

Solar Photovoltaic Power

Solar P.V. power has the advantage of producing electrical power during the highest demand periods and doesn't produce power at night when demand is lowest. This makes Solar P.V. well suited for meeting a percentage of the peak demand.

Examples of Time Of Use Pricing - Ontario

Ontario, Canada is in the process of switching to Time-of-Use billing for electricity. Thus some of their customers presently pay a flat rate of 5 cents per kwh (for the first 1000 kwh/month). Other customers use the following time-of-use pricing charts:

Winter Weekdays
November 1 2010 to April 30 2011
Time Period
7 am to 11 am On-Peak
11 am to 5 pm Mid-Peak
5 pm to 9 pm On-Peak
9 pm to 7 am Off-Peak
Weekends & Holidays
All day Off-Peak

NOTE: Time-of-use prices as of Nov. 1, 2008, when smart meters were first announced in Ontario, are shown in the table below. As of November 2010, the BEST rate (10:00pm to 7:00am) is almost the same as the everyday rate prior to the introduction of Smart Meters.

Day of the Week


Time-of-Use Period

Time-of-Use Price*

Weekends & holidays All day Off-peak 4.0
Summer Weekdays
(May 1st - Oct 31st)
7:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Mid-peak 7.2
11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. On-peak 8.8
5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Mid-peak 7.2
10:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. Off-peak 4.0
Winter Weekdays
(Nov 1st - Apr 30th)
7:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. On-peak 8.8
11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Mid-peak 7.2
5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. On-peak 8.8
8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Mid-peak 7.2
10:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. Off-peak 4.0


Tips to Reduce Your Electrical Bill

CLF lights

  1. Turn off air conditioning when away from the house (at work).
  2. Use fans rather than air conditioning.
  3. Use blinds to keep sun out in the summer and heat inside in winter.
  4. Use the whole house for sleeping - move to basement in hot summer weather and upstairs in cooler months.
  5. Delay big power usage to the off-peak hours such as washers and clothes driers. Hang clothes to dry.
  6. Use LED and CFL lights. Use daylight via solar tubes and skylights. Light just your work area. Turn off lights when you leave the room. Use motion sensors on your lights.electrical power bar
  7. Use power bars to turn off electrical devices such as TV, stereo, computers, printers.. these devices all use power even when turned off so you need to disconnect the power completely.
  8. Consider renewable alternatives such as solar thermal hot water heaters.
  9. Generate some of your own electrical power - solar PV panels will generate power during peak periods and wind turbines can also provide power at "almost" competitive prices.


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