kWh is the unit of measurement for electricity. Additionally, kWh is the amount of energy a 1,000-watt appliance would use if left on for an hour.
Knowing what a kWh is can help you save money on your electric bill. It also lets you understand how your energy usage patterns affect your pay rate.
Homeowners can choose from two types of electricity rates: fixed and variable. These options vary by state, but both offer a range of benefits.
A fixed rate is an all-inclusive energy price that stays the same throughout your contract term. It ensures you’ll never be surprised by a high or low energy bill. This plan is ideal for customers who want to know exactly how much they’ll pay each month and can budget accordingly.
Choosing a fixed rate also ensures you’ll never get hit by a sudden change in electricity rates. Variable rates are typically lower than fixed rates, but there’s a risk that your rate could increase once your contract expires.
If you choose a variable rate, your energy cost will fluctuate as market prices change. This may make it harder to budget, but it helps save you money in the long run.
Many energy suppliers have complicated models determining when energy usage is most expensive. They use these models to charge you higher rates during periods of high demand (such as during the day) and lower rates during intense need (such as in the evening).
While these rates are lower than fixed rates, they can still be steep if you use a lot of energy. They’re also more volatile than fixed rates, meaning that a change in energy costs could significantly impact your family.
Many homeowners need to realize that the cost of electricity changes based on the time of day and week, but understanding this rate structure can save you money. This guide will help you know the difference between peak and off-peak electricity rates, how to choose a time-of-use plan that works for you, and what factors can affect your energy costs on a TOU plan.
Electricity is delivered to homes and businesses by local power providers through a centralized network called the grid. This system is expensive to maintain and expand; utilities typically hike their rates to cover these costs.
These rates also depend on how much electricity is used in a month. Homeowners can work to lower their bills by reducing their usage and switching to a supplier that offers a fixed-rate plan.
The amount you pay for your electricity is calculated by multiplying the rate per kWh by the number of kilowatt-hours (kWh) your home uses. For instance, electric utility companies like PPL electric rates per kWh are a good starting point for understanding your electric bill. It can be helpful when comparing rates from different suppliers.
A kilowatt-hour is an electricity used by an electric device, such as an air conditioning unit or an oven. You can also measure a kilowatt-hour by frequency, the number of seconds an electrical appliance operates in a given period.
Residential customers use more electricity than commercial or industrial customers, so it’s essential to understand how your home energy rates are calculated. You can learn more about calculating your energy bill and how your energy bill is calculated by looking at a sample electric bill or contacting your local provider.
Time-of-use rates are electricity plans that fluctuate based on peak and off-peak hours. These rates charge customers more during peak times and less during off-peak times, and they help power companies manage demand more efficiently.
During peak hours, utilities need more electricity than at other times of the day to meet customer demand. They must also pay more to produce the electricity required to meet that demand.
To encourage customers to shift energy use to lower-cost, off-peak times, power companies offer Time of Use (TOU) rates. When consumers use more electricity during off-peak times, they save money on their utility bills and help reduce the strain on the power grid.
TOU rates vary depending on the time of year and region where you live. Understanding how they work is essential to make an excellent decision for your family and your budget.
The best way to understand time-of-use rates is to watch your energy usage closely and your utility bill. TOU rate schedules will often be listed in your account’s summary section.
Your utility should also provide tools and resources to reduce electricity usage and save money on monthly bills. These include the energy monitor, which can give you an idea of how much electricity you use and when it is most expensive.
Peak rates are based on the cost of delivering electricity to homes and businesses during certain times of the day. The wholesale rate utilities calculate the price they must pay for electricity during these high-demand periods.
Residential energy consumption is often higher during the afternoon and early evening (known as “peak” hours). Homeowners use more lights, appliances, and electronics during these times, creating higher electricity demand on the power grid.
In summer, air conditioning usage increases during these hottest hours, and homeowners turn up the heating in winter to keep their homes comfortable. This translates to a higher demand for electricity and costs passed to customers on their monthly bills.
Some companies offer time-of-use rate plans to help homeowners reduce their peak rates. These rates charge less per kilowatt-hour for consumers to shift their energy consumption away from these high-demand times, reducing the overall bill and allowing for more significant savings.
Most TOU plans also offer special rates for charging an electric vehicle or limiting energy consumption to specific days of the year so that you can capitalize on these savings opportunities. Other utility-specific rates include converting to renewable energy and installing solar panels.