Time of Use Rates

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TOU Frequently Asked Questions

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As a consumer, you’re accustomed to making money-saving choices and paying lower prices for goods and services used during off-peak times. A number of industries — such as telecommunications and commercial airlines — offer attractive off-peak rates to even out customer demand and prevent system overload.

Coast Electric’s Time-of-Use (TOU) electric rate is based on the same idea. By reducing your electric use during peak times, you have the opportunity to decrease your annual energy costs — without reducing the overall amount of electricity you use.

1. What is a Time-of-Use (TOU) rate plan?
Coast Electric’s TOU rate plan is based on the time of day you use electricity and our cost of supplying electricity to you during that time. If you use electricity when the total used by all Coast Electric members is low (off-peak) your rate will be lower than the standard rate. On-peak hours or electricity used during periods of high demand will cost more than the standard rate.

2. Why is Coast Electric offering TOU rate plans?
TOU rate plans provide you with a choice to lower your electricity costs without reducing the total amount of electricity used. By shifting electricity use off- peak, we can avoid the need to build new generation plants. In addition, off-peak use will allow our current facilities to operate more efficiently, reducing your electricity costs even more.

3.Who is eligible for a TOU rate plan?
Residential and commercial members are eligible for these rate plans. (Some restrictions apply)

4. How does a TOU rate plan lower my bill?
When you shift electric use to periods of lower demand (off-peak), you can potentially save hundreds of dollars each year. Shifting your electric use to off-peak hours helps Coast Electric avoid peak demand charges, and we can pass those savings on to our members.

5. What are the on-peak and off-peak hours for residential accounts?
Summer Period (April-October)
On-peak: 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday
Off-peak: All other times including all day Saturday and Sunday

Winter Period (November-March)
On-peak: 6 a.m. to 8 a.m.
Off-peak: All other times including all day Saturday and Sunday
Off-peak: Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day

6. What are the on-peak and off-peak hours for commercial accounts?
Summer Period (May-October)
On-peak: 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Off-peak: All other times off-peak

Winter Period (November-April)

On-peak: 6 a.m. to 8 a.m.
Off-peak: All other times off-peak

7. What kind of savings might I expect from a time-of-use rate plan?
The dollar amount saved varies among members. The more electricity that you shift to off-peak, the more money you might save. Ninety-two percent of all hours are off-peak.

8. What behaviors can I change that will help me make a difference in lowering my electric bill?
• Use automatic timers to run appliances such as water heaters, pool pumps, hot tubs, etc. during off-peak hours. (Note: Timers should be synchronized with peak and off peak times) and should always be installed by licensed professionals.
• Install programmable thermostats to shift AC/heating to off-peak times.
• Plug computers, printers, and televisions into power strips and turn off at the switch when not in use during peak hours.
• Wash and dry clothes during off-peak times.
• Move cooking to off-peak hours

9. Could I end up paying more money on the TOU rate?

By signing up for the TOU rate, you will most likely be required to make minor adjustments in your daily routine. If you don’t change your energy use patterns, you could pay more. However, with Coast Electric’s six-month guarantee, you don’t have to risk paying more. Coast Electric members who sign up for a Time of Use (TOU) rate plan are entering into an agreement with the cooperative for a minimum of six months. The agreement will continue until terminated by either party with at least 30 days of written notice. Accounts disconnected for nonpayment will be removed immediately from the TOU rate plan. Once terminated, the TOU rate will not be available for members at that location for a period of 12 months. After six months, if a member determines that the amount paid using a TOU rate plan is greater than the amount they would have paid with the standard rate plan, that member may cancel the TOU agreement and request a credit for the difference. For example, if a member used $600 worth of electricity in the initial six-month period during which they had a TOU rate plan, and the member determines that they would have only incurred a $500 charge using the standard rate, this member has the right to cancel their TOU agreement and will receive a credit for $100. If a member chooses not to cancel the agreement at the end of the six-month period, they forfeit their savings and will not be entitled to a credit for the difference.

10. If I choose to try TOU rates, how long is my commitment?

Your commitment to staying on the TOU rate plan is a minimum of six months. If after six months of making lifestyle changes your bill increases, you have the option to cancel your time of use rate plan.

11. How can I determine if TOU rates are a good option for me?

To determine if you can benefit from the TOU rate plan, refer to the chart on www.coastepa.com or contact any office for assistance.

12. How do I sign up for the TOU rate plan?

Sign up at any Coast Electric office, or call 1-877-769-2372.

13. What are the current TOU rate amounts?

Current rates are listed here or you can call us at 877-769-2372.
14. Are there any sign up fees associated with TOU rates?
No, there are no initial sign up fees or charges associated with a TOU rate plan.

15. Are there any restrictions for renters?
Yes, if your landlord has signed a continuous service agreement with Coast Electric, then you will not be able to participate in the TOU rate plan. Please contact your landlord before calling Coast Electric to see if a continuous service agreement is in effect.

16. How does my meter know which hours are peak hours and which hours are off-peak hours?
Coast Electric’s automated meter infrastructure system reads off- and on-peak hours. Your meter is also programmed to recognize daylight saving time.

17. How do I read my TOU meter?
The display scrolls every five seconds with this meter. The meter will go through the following displays.

1. Display test (all LCD sections should come on)

2. Display overall kWh

3. Display TOU off-peak reading

4. Display TOU peak reading.