ComEd’s Hourly Pricing program is a great way to save money, not to mention practice wise energy use. One consumer, Jim, recently attended a CUB utility-bill clinic to tell us how Hourly Pricing has saved him hundreds of dollars!
Hourly Pricing allows customers to pay the hourly market rate for electricity, instead of the standard fixed supply rate most customers pay. While electricity prices can spike during certain periods, such as blazing hot summer afternoons, most of the time market prices are lower than the utility’s fixed rate. Customers save by adjusting their electricity usage to when prices are lower.
Jim has been on the program for nearly a decade. “Part of the reason I signed up was because I knew I could shift my usage hours,” he said.
Jim has been visiting CUB’s clinics for several years, and stopped by our recent event in Skokie. “I show up to these clinics just to let people know that the programs work,” he said. “I would say I’ve saved at least $500 to $600 dollars.”
To be exact, over the years Jim has saved $587.79 on Hourly Pricing–that’s 29.6 percent savings. Overall, Hourly Pricing customers are saving an average of 15 percent on the supply portion of their power bills.
Jim may have more savings to come; he recently installed wiring in his garage to charge the electric vehicle he plans to buy sometime in the near future. “CUB should really encourage the program now,” he said. “I think there’s a wave of electric vehicles on the way. People like the info CUB gives, too.” (CUB’s latest research shows electric vehicle drivers in recent years could have saved more than 50 percent on Hourly Pricing. Read the paper here.)
Programs like Hourly Pricing help reduce electricity demand at “peak times.” Reduced peak demand eases stress on the grid, helping to prevent costly power outages. Lowering peak demand also reduces the need to fire up more expensive “peaker” power plants. The less consumers have to rely on “peaker” plants to meet electricity demand, the lower electricity rates can be for everyone.
“Hourly Pricing is an excellent program that has numerous benefits, beginning with a lower power bill,” CUB Executive Director David Kolata said. “Now more than ever we need programs that save customers money and make the power grid stronger.”
To see if Hourly Pricing may be a good fit for your household, check out CUB’s Hourly Pricing fact sheet. For Ameren customers, there’s a similar program called Power Smart Pricing.
At events across the state, a CUB expert can help you enroll in various money-saving programs through your utility. Visit our events calendar to see when we’ll be in your neighborhood.