By Bryan Hutchinson
Peco has been offering Time-Of-Use (TOU) pricing for about 2 years. This pricing is an optional, generation-only rate for residential and small commercial customers. It differs from current rates, in that instead of one rate that is charged evenly throughout the day/week/month, rates vary depending upon the time of the day. Below are the Time-Of-Use Pricing Periods:
Peak (2 p.m. – 6 p.m., non-holiday weekdays)
Super Off Peak (12 a.m. – 6 a.m., every day)
Off Peak (all other days/times)
During the “Peak” period, the rate is much higher than the other 2 “off-peak” periods. These two “Off-Peak” periods are much less than the regular electrical pricing. The data below shows the Off-Peak Price and Super Off-Peak Price at 30% and 52% lower than the current Residential (R/RH) prices.
The reason why Peco is providing this pricing is to explore new energy supply rates that are made possible by smart meters and can help customers save money and energy. Usually, the price of electricity is lower at night than during the day. TOU rates are designed to reflect the costs of electricity throughout the day. The Super Off-Peak rate is intended to encourage customers to shift their energy use from peak periods to periods where the demand for energy-and its price-are typically lower.
Below is the current pricing (12/1/23 – 2/29/23) for TOU rates vs. Residential Electricity rates;
Rate Class TOU Peak TOU Off-Peak TOU Super Off-Peak Residential (R/RH)
Price Price Price
TOU Peak Price
TOU Off-Peak Price
TOU Supper Off-Peak Price
Residential (R/RH) Price
Residential/Residential Heating (R/RH)
NOTE: THESE RATES ARE FOR RESIDENTIAL/RESIDENTIAL HEATING (R/RH). THEY ARE APPROXIMATELY 8% LESS THAN THE LAST PERIOD 9/1-11/30/23. RATES ARE FOR GENERATION ONLY AND DO NOT INCLUDE THE DISTRIBUTION/TRANSMISSION CHARGES.
TOU rates with Solar:
If you currently have a solar system, you definitely want to explore TOU rates. If you own an EV, whether you own solar or not, you also would be wise to explore this pricing, due to the much lower rate to charge your EV during the “Super Off-Peak” period $0.04253/kWh vs. $0.08917/kWh—a significant reduction of 52% in cost.
There are some advantages to TOU rates over regular residential rates, particularly with Solar. First, as a solar customer, most of your solar generation occurs during mid to late afternoon. You will also generate more, if you have a majority of your panels facing west. Depending upon your system, the “Banked” credits you receive during the spring/Summer and possibly early fall months, will be carried over, with TOU pricing. This means that if you produce more solar “Generation” than you consume during the “Peak” hours of 2pm-6pm, you earn this banked credit at the higher “Peak” Rate. Even if you don’t generate 100% of your Electricity through your solar system, due to the added benefit of the “Peak” rate, you could end up owing less, or actually get a credit/refund back from Peco using TOU pricing, vs. Residential (R/RH) pricing.
Let’s take an example from Ed McConnell. Ed is on the WCACEF committee and a member of the East Bradford Environmental Advisory Committee. Ed has had solar since 2017. A majority of his 34 panels (27) face West. Ed has a Geothermal heating and hot water system. Before using TOU pricing (in September 2021), Ed didn’t generate more solar (kWh’s) than he consumed. With the current Residential R/RH pricing, he ended up owing Peco. After he signed up for TOU pricing (9/21) AND purchasing a hybrid SUV plug in (using more electricity), last year he ended up obtaining a credit). Here’s an example of how his solar covers his entire electricity consumption during a summer day, AND pays him back more than he consumed. The first graph is Energy Use and
the second is his cost.
As you can see his solar generation during August 31st, 2023 exceeds his consumption, and thus, PECO is paying him for the added benefit of excess generation over consumption during that day. You can see Edward’s Plug-In Hybrid charging overnight (12pm-6am in the first graph) and see how low the cost is in the 2nd graph for the same time period.
If you own solar and an EV, with TOU pricing you could enjoy much lower rates while plugging in during the “Super Off-Peak” rate, while still enjoying a high credit rate using solar from 2-6pm Peak Hours.
If you don’t have solar, you may benefit from TOU pricing as well. Suppose you work full time at an outside office. You could arrange to turn down your AC/heating during the summer/winter months during the 2-6pm Peak Period (providing you come home after 6pm and can wait a while to have the AC/heat bring the temperatures up and down). Peco even offers you a quick analysis, based upon your consumption, if you could save money on the TOU pricing. To find out: Log into your PECO account and follow these prompts:
>My Profile | PECO - An Exelon Company>Smart Energy>Time-of-Use Pricing>Scroll Down to “How Much Could you Save?” Click on to “View Cost Savings Estimate”
You still have the opportunity to use as much electricity as you need during the 2-6pm Peak Period, it will just cost you a lot more than the other periods. I have signed up for TOU pricing in early 9/23 and it became effective in early 10/23. I will update you on my success with this new rating program in 2024. In the meantime sign on the Peco, explore TOU rates, read Jim Wylie’s Blog on “Using PECO’s My Energy Usage Tool” and happy holidays.