What are “on-peak” and “off-peak” hours?

On-peak hours are the times of day when most people use the most electricity, like in the middle of a hot afternoon when everyone is running their air conditioners, and around dinnertime, when families are cooking, taking shower, washing dishes and doing laundry. 

The electricity you use during those times costs more than the energy you use during off-peak hours, which generally occur in the evenings and on weekends. 

If you’re willing to alter your habits a bit so you save jobs like laundry, dishwashing and running your pool pump for off-peak hours, let your electric utility know. The utility will enroll you in "time-of-use" rate plan, and you'll pay less for the power you use during off-peak times.

Another solution is to install an energy management computer in your home. The computer, which costs around $3,500, keeps tabs on your thermostat and automatically raises it—just slightly, and never higher than you want—when the high “peak” rates kick in every day. Likewise, it lowers it again when the “off-peak” rates take effect. For more information on the energy management computer, contact Advanced Home Systems

Here are some other high-energy tasks to avoid during peak hours: 

  • Reserve home remodeling projects for weekends so you can use your power tools when off-peak rates are in effect. 
  • Same goes for heavy house cleaning. Run the vacuum cleaner, iron and kitchen appliances on weekends. Each one uses only a little bit of electricity, but combined, the kilowatt-hours add up. 
  • Do your laundry off peak hours on weekdays or on weekends. 
  • Wait for off-peak hours to run your pool pump. 
  • Install a timer on your water heater so it won’t come on during peak hours. You’ll still have plenty of hot water in the morning because it can run overnight. 
  • Wait until off peak hours to run your dishwasher every evening.
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Rosie and Romey Romero, Every Arizona Homeowners Best Friend
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