Emerald People's Utility District (EPUD) is considering new, voluntary rate design options, such as Time of Use, to offer customers in the future. To gauge if there is customer interest in this option, Emerald may launch a survey in the months ahead.
Time of Use programs can be beneficial to both utilities and their customers by reducing peak hour demand and, in turn, keeping rates low. Peak hour demand refers to the range of hours when energy usage is highest (see example above). In our service area, we see summer and winter peak demand increase dramatically.
To meet energy demand during peak hours, utilities are often forced to purchase additional power at higher costs. Reducing the demand during peak hours can help avoid those high-cost energy purchases.
With the recent implementation of a new metering system, EPUD now has greater capabilities for rate design. Specifically, the utility is able to charge customers according to the time of day in which they use energy, providing potential for savings for customers willing to make changes to their usage patterns. A Time of Use program also offers EPUD the potential to shift 8% to 12% of usage from peak periods into off-peak periods, greatly reducing the need for high-cost energy purchases.