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Ask an Expert: Time-of-Day Savings

What are some simple ways to shift energy use to off-peak hours?

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Shifting energy use can save energy and money.

Time-of-day or time-of-use pricing plans typically offer members lower rates during off-peak hours. The goal is to shift energy use away from peak hours — generally in the afternoon and early evening. Here are some simple ways you can save money by using less energy during peak hours.

Adjust the thermostat to reduce heating and cooling energy use while away from home. Programmable thermostats optimize savings and convenience. Today's smart models add advanced features like remote control and self-programming.

In summer, set the thermostat to 78°F when you're at home to reduce cooling energy use. A ceiling fan is a lower-energy alternative that can make you feel cooler. Remember to turn off fans when you leave a room.

In winter, set the thermostat as low as 68°F, depending on your comfort level. Wear warmer clothing or use blankets to stay comfortable.

Turn off lights in empty rooms and electronics when not in use. Plug electronic devices into advanced power strips or smart plugs, which automatically cut off power to unused devices.

When cooking dinner, use lower energy options — such as a microwave, toaster oven or slow cooker — instead of the stove whenever possible. Only run the dishwasher on a full load and wait until after peak hours.

Perform energy-using household chores — such as laundry and vacuuming — later in the evening or on weekends when electric demand is not peaking.

Charge electric equipment — such as electric vehicles, lawnmowers and trimmers — overnight or on weekends.


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