Customers using UniSource’s time-of-use (TOU) and demand-based electric pricing plans should be mindful of how and when they’re using electricity if they’re spending more time at home during the coronavirus pandemic.
“A change in household routines also can change energy use, and you may need to adjust accordingly,” said Denise Richerson, UniSource Energy Services Director of Customer Services and Programs. “Please be mindful of our on and off peak hours, especially when you’re home more often and using larger appliances.”
Our TOU and demand plans offer lower electric rates during off-peak periods but higher costs during on-peak hours. From Nov. 1 through April 30, on-peak periods are weekdays from 6-9 a.m. and 6-9 p.m. From May 1 through Oct. 31, on-peak hours are weekdays from 3-7 p.m. (Weekends and major holidays are always off-peak.)
Francisco Castro, Manager of Residential Energy Efficiency Program and Services, suggests several ways that customers on TOU plans can manage their energy usage wisely during on-peak periods to avoid increased energy costs:
- Operate large appliances – like washing machines, clothes dryers, dishwashers – only during off-peak hours. If you have a pool, set your pump to operate off-peak.
- Pre-cook meals during off-peak hours, then reheat in the microwave oven for dinner.
- Turn off unneeded lighting and rely on natural light during on-peak periods.
- Turn off lights, ceiling fans, televisions and gaming systems when you leave the room for a while.
- Adjust or program your thermostat to cool or heat during off-peak hours.
Castro added, “It’s important that everyone in your household understands that they should carefully manage energy usage during on-peak hours to help keep your electric bills manageable.”
Even customers who try to reduce usage during on-peak periods might end up paying higher bills if they’re spending more time at home during the coronavirus pandemic. Electric customers may switch from a TOU or demand-based plan to our Basic plan during the pandemic and can switch back at any time.
Our Basic plan’s energy charges do not vary by time of day, so customers don’t need to worry about when they use electricity. But those charges are higher than the off-peak rates on our TOU and demand based plans, so electric customers should be aware that switching to the Basic plan could result in higher bills.
“We know that customers may be concerned with their energy usage and costs while they’re spending most of their time at home,” said Richerson. “We want to help customers understand their pricing plan options and better manage energy usage to help reduce their monthly bills.”
The best way to reduce your bills on any electric pricing plan is to use less energy. For a complete list of energy-saving tips, visit https://www.uesaz.com/residential-energy-saving-tips/.
Customers who have questions about our rate plans or would like to switch from a TOU plan to the Basic plan can call UniSource Customer Care at 1-877-837-4968. To learn more about our pricing plans, visit uesaz.com/electric-rates/.