Electric Bill Time Advantage Plan

Arizona Public Service Offers Rate Plan to Save Money on Summer Electric Bills

Nest programmable thermostat
••• You'll probably need a programmable thermostat to take advantage of these plans. George Frey / Getty Images News

Although we use electricity all year long, it is clear that the biggest challenge Phoenix area residents have is saving money on those summertime electric bills. And summer lasts quite a long time here! Not only do we use 50% more electricity to cool our homes in the summer, but electric rates are higher in the summer due to higher demands and higher operating costs of providing that electricity.

One of the ways you might be able to save some money on your electric bill is to enroll in a rate plan that rewards people for using more electricity during off peak hours.

For homes in the Phoenix area that are provided electricity by Arizona Public Service (APS), a rate plan that rewards people who use more of their electricity during non-peak periods is called the Time Advantage plan. This allows the utility to better distribute energy to everyone in the Valley of the Sun who need it.

This may mean that during certain times of the day, you shouldn't run certain appliances, like the washer and dryer, or the dishwasher, if the chore can wait until the non-peak hours. You may also want to regulate your home's temperature at least a few degrees up or down based on peak and non-peak hours.

For many homes in the 1,500 to 2,500 square foot range, there are two plans to consider. The Time Advantage Plan will generate savings on your utility bill if you can use more energy in the late evening or early morning hours. The Super Peak Time Advantage Plan might work best if you use the most energy on weekends and during evening or morning hours.

People who will benefit from the Time Advantage Plan are those that:

  1. allow the APS meter readers unrestricted access to your meter. They must be read each month.
  2. are not home during the day or you have low daytime electricity use.
  3. can operate your major electric appliances (water heater, pool pump, spa heater) with a timer set to run during off-peak hours
  1. can use your dishwasher, washer, dryer and range mostly during non-peak hours
  2. can set your air conditioning thermostat to a warmer temperature during peak hours

What are peak hours for the APS Time Advantage Plan?

There are several Time Advantage plans: the Monday through Friday plan has peak hours of noon to 7 p.m. with other hours and weekends being off-peak hours. There are also other peak plans and super peak plans.

According to APS, if you use 60 percent or more of your electricity during off-peak hours, you can lower your bill through a Time Advantage plan. Your savings will increase as the percentage of electricity you use during these hours increases. After six months of being on the plan, APS can do a rate comparison analysis for you to see which rate plan saves you the most money.

For larger homes, or other rate plans, visit Arizona Public Service online.

Page 1: APS Time Advantage Plan
Page 2: SRP Time-of-Use Plan
Page 3: Readers Share - How Much Is Your Electric Bill?

For homes in the Phoenix area that are provided electricity by Salt River Project (SRP), a rate plan that rewards people who use more of their electricity during non-peak periods is called the Time-of-Use plan. This allows the utility to better distribute energy to everyone in the Valley of the Sun who need it.

This may mean that during certain times of the day, you shouldn't run certain appliances, like the washer and dryer, or the dishwasher, if the chore can wait until the non-peak hours.

You may also want to regulate your home's temperature at least a few degrees up or down based on peak and non-peak hours.

With SRP's Time-of-Use plan, electricity is priced at two levels, depending on the time of day. Prices are lower during off-peak hours and higher during on-peak hours. Switching to this price plan saves the typical customer an average of 6 to 7%% off their annual bill.

Which customers will save money with the SRP Time-of-Use Plan?

  1. People who aren't usually home during the day on weekdays.
  2. People who can switch electricity usage to off-peak hours, like running appliances in the morning, or changing the hours that the pool filter operates.
  3. People who can effectively use programmable thermostats.
  4. People whose meters have unrestricted access to SRP personnel (required).
  5. People who live in the area all year long. Winter-only residents won't see enough benefit.

What are peak hours for the SRP Time-of-Use Plan?

May 1 to October 31
On-peak: Monday through Friday, 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.
All other hours, weekends, and certain holidays are all off-peak.

November 1 to April 30
On-peak: Monday through Friday, 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
All other hours, weekends, and certain holidays are all off-peak.

SRP Time-of-Use Plan doesn't work for you? Try the EZ-3 Plan.

SRP's EZ-3 Plan is a simplified Time of Use plan. There are no seasons or dates to remember, since the hours stay the same all year. Peak hours, when you should limit your electricity usage, are Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. All other hours are off-peak. You might not save quite as much as those who are diligent on the Time of Use plan, but customers on this plan save, on average, about 6% per year on their electric bill. Each month your Salt River Project electric bill will state the amount you saved on the Time-of-Use Price Plan or EZ-3 Price Plan. To learn more about SRP's residential rate plans, visit Salt River Project online.

Page 1: APS Time Advantage Plan
Page 2: SRP Time-of-Use Plan
Page 3: Readers Share - How Much Is Your Electric Bill?

My highest electricity usage usage is typically over $300 in August, but less than $125 in May. That's not unusual; we live in the desert. With more than 5 months of high temperatures, some people considering moving here might be concerned about how much it costs to cool a typical home. The problem is, there is no typical home! Our houses are different sizes, different ages, made of different materials, some of us have many people in the home, some of us have pools....

I asked my readers to share what they pay for electricity. I asked them to include:

  • Square footage of the home or apartment
  • Pool, spa or other major equipment using electricity
  • Block home or frame home
  • All electric or electric/gas
  • How many people live in the home
  • SRP or APS customer (or other)
  • Which city or town
  • Amount of monthly average electric bill
  • Any other pertinent information

Here are the responses I received. Submissions are now closed, but I include these in case they are helpful or instructive. I have not edited the responses in any way, nor has any of the information been verified.

2300 St Ft Vaulted Ceiling
We have 13 SEER AC units (2) and we paid 370 in July. Aug we were able to get on Easy-3 electric plan, lowering it $60/mo. 2300 St Ft 2004 Home, sun shades and sun screens.
—Guest South Mountain

Coolcat
Well I own a 3000 sq ft brick home on the east side of Tucson it has 2each 3 1/2 ton AC units.

Since the HVAC tech out here are ripoff artist I use separate window unit to cool the home to about 74 even this August we paid just $390 total out baseline winter is just $ 70 so we pay just $320 for all the nice cool 74 F air. We use 7 window nits that are all precooled via evaporative cooling pads and we average over 16 to 17 SEER on the wiindie units.

Google evaporative cooled condenser and PG&E you will see just how well precooling reduce used the energy AC unit need
—Guest Tomcat

Diminishing Efficiency of A/C unit(s)
Regarding "For no obvious reason, our electric usage in kilowatt hours has increased significantly over similar time periods in previous years." I believe that central a/c units become less efficient as they age thereby requiring them to run longer to provide the same cooling efficiency. I know this to be true for central gas forced air heating. When a new unit is installed it is at its peak efficiency/lowest electricity cost and gradually deteriorates as it ages. Maybe if any readers are HVAC Engineers they could weigh in.
—Guest TomT

avoid AC as much as possible
paid around $225 in August 213. We do not use overhead AC but jump in the pool (18 ft Intex baby pool 8 ft in diameter) and walk around the house in swimsuits, stay well all summer. $135 for June AC—Guest pooldweller

Costs Are Variable
In Tucson, we spend less than our neighbors and friends in the area because we choose to manage our electric use primarily on cooling. We don't hold back on cooking, washing or computer equipment, just use fans instead of the A/C 90% of the time.

Our last bill from mid May to mid June was $95. Previous 3 months were $78-$88. Granted we live in a 2005 nicely built 1700 sq ft single story 3 bdrm home. We use ceiling fans and keep the thermostat between 81-83 allowing temperatures between 81-85. And we come from the Midwest. We also turn off lights when leaving rooms. Our computer equipment uses SSD hard drives. We embrace the heat and enjoy it.
—TuacaTom

too much
I am spoiled with low electricity in Northern California for 9 months out of the Paying 300.00 a month in Scottsdale seems like flushing money, Wish there was not a summer in Scottsdale. Such a negative, but love the desert. When the economy is bad you do want to rethink your decisions to move to Scottsdale.
—Guest glen

APS
I'm in Phoenix, in 1/2 of a block duplex (it's not a legal duplex, but it does have its own electric service).

Square footage is approx 1250 sf; no pool or spa or other major appliance. It does have a washer and dryer and dishwasher; the heat/AC is a heat pump unit on the roof, and the dryer is electric; the water heater and the stove are gas, which the landlady pays out of the rent. I have box fans in the house. One runs all day in the principal day use room; another in the bedroom is aimed at me all night. Circulating the air helps make the temperature seem much lower. I live here alone most of the time, but in the summer, 2 of my grand-kids are here for 6 weeks. As shown in response title, I have APS. I keep my thermostat around 67 in the winter, and 82 in the summer. My total electric bill for 2011 was $1076; the highest in August was $203, and the lowest in April was $37. My bill-averaging monthly payment is $83, which actually would not cover the annual total, but they had it set much higher until recently, and I still have a big surplus balance from before they reduced the payment.
—nastij

Electric Bill
High was $564.53 lowest $85.82 I have a pool and a 3800 sq ft home. I have large windows and young trees so no real shade.
—Guest Jean

Electricity
We moved from a colder climate last so for our first summer in Phoenix we kept the a/c at 76°. We live in a 3000 sq ft wood frame stucco, two story house. Being home all day with little kids, our highest bill was just over $500.
—Guest Katy

Two people...1500sf
Avg bill for past two year is $83. High was 227 and low was 36.64. Have only had one month over $100 outside the typical Jul-Sept
—Guest Jim P

Electricity
My house is a 2200 square foot blocked frame single story with 16-18 foot vaulted ceilings, lots of large windows and a pool. Everything is electric except for the water heater. I live with my husband and 3 children, 2 of which are boys that are always going in and out. I live in Peoria and have APS. The majority of my windows are west and south facing so I gets tons of sunshine! I had the windows tinted last summer and I think it helped a lot. I keep my house at 80-82 during the summer months and 78 at night. My highest bill last year was $425 and lowest was $120.
—Guest Amanda.M

Electric
I live in a 1,000 sq ft apartment, all one floor and older with brick and single payne windows and carpet. I live with one other person and 2 cats. We are APS customers in Central Phoenix with electric and gas heat. Our lowest bill was $65 and highest $275. We live to be comfortable and we set it about 78 degrees in the summer.
—iammegiam

I'm on budget billing
My electricity provider is SRP, and they provide me with an average monthly usage bill so that I don't have peaks and valleys in my bills. I like being able to predict what I will have to pay! They reevaluate every three months. Right now I am paying $170 per month. The home is block, north/south exposure, relatively new and energy efficient, no pool, about 2200 sq ft. Two self-employed people live here with pets, so it can never get too hot or too cold in here! It's an all-electric home, no gas.

Page 1: APS Time Advantage Plan
Page 2: SRP Time-of-Use Plan
Page 3: Readers Share - How Much Is Your Electric Bill?