Tuesday, November 11, 2008

C-RAZY Question

This might seem a little bizarre, but does any one else use Real-Time Pricing for their ComEd bill? I was inspired to see if we had something like this based on a frugal tip I came across. In a nutshell, instead of paying a fixed price per Kilowatt hour for energy, you pay the going market price for that particular hour. In the off-peak hours, the energy costs less. I am looking into this option for our family & was wondering if/how it has saved money for other families. If no one responds, I guess I might just be the guinea pig.


annifranni said...

Hi there,

I found your blog through the blog of a good friend of mine - Andrea.

I've been following it for a bit, and I figured I'd take this opportunity to come out of lurking mode.

When I loved in Phoenix we were on a Time of Use plan for our electricity, which is essentially the same thing you are speaking of.

We had our off peak hours, that we paid a certain price for, and then the on- peak hours where we were charged a higher rate for those particular hours. Being on the plan saved me an estimated $15- 20 a month. This was during the summer. During the winter there was virtually no difference because the pricing for both plans was close to the same. If you have central air, and an electric dryer this plan might save you money. Even if you only have central air or an air conditioning unit this plan may save you money. I'm assuming you have gas heat and a gas stove and a gas hot water heater. Everything in Arizona is electric, so I found that it worked for me.

the only draw back for us was the hottest parts of the day were "on peak" hours, and when the temperature is 115 degrees it hard not to drop the temperature any more in the house.

Also, if you decide to go on the time of use plan check their policy on canceling the plan. For us if we would have switched back to a normal plan we would not have been able to go on the time of use plan again for a year.

I hope this helps, and if you have any more specific questions I'd be happy to answer them if I can.

Andrea said...

Hey...I see my good buddy, Andrea, found you. Sweet! Also....check this out. http://www.citizensutilityboard.org/pdfs/ConsumerInfo/20080905_RealTimePricing.pdf

That's a link to the Citizens Utility Board's faq sheet on real-time pricing. Don't know if you've heard of them but they fight utilities on behalf of IL consumers. Pretty awesome group. Just had them do a phone bill clinic and they someone $55 a month. Their website is chock-full of good information. And they are currently battling with ComEd over the recent rate hike.

I don't know anything about either plan but I love the idea of paying for what you are actually using when you are actually using it. Someone should do a post on all these little utility things...real-time pricing, nicor's budget plan, att's phone plans, etc. I think I just volunteered. =) sticking it to the man.

Rebecca said...

Thanks gals!! The article on the Citizens Utility Board helped immensely! It says this plan would be good for you if you typically use more than 400 Kwh of electricity. I will have to dig up a bill & see.....