Saturday, January 17, 2009

Lower Your Electricity Bill

We get our electricity from ComEd and we are pretty happy with them. Mom tries not to use electricity unnecessarily and is always yelling at Dad to turn off the lights and tv when he leaves a room. Mom knows that changing all the bulbs in the house from the traditional bulbs to CFLs also helps save energy, but she always wonders what else she can do. When a letter arrived in the mail today from ComEd, she knew that what it had to say was just what she was looking for.

It's called real-time electricity pricing and businesses have been participating in this program for years. ComEd is now offering this program to residential customers and it sounds like just what Mom has been looking for.

With this program, the price you pay for electricity varies from hour to hour based on fluctuating wholesale market prices, which is different from the fixed-price rate you currently pay. While Com Ed cannot guarantee that you will save money with this program, if you change the way you use energy-hungry appliances to lower-price hours, it could definitely make a difference in your bills. Think you don't have energy-hungry appliances, think again. Air conditioners, dishwashers, and laundry machines are all energy hogs. Simply running these appliances at times when electricity is priced lower, like evenings, nights and weekends, will save you money. According to ComEd, the majority of customers who participated in the program had annual savings from 7 to 12%.

There are other benefits from the program as well Even if your electricity bill doesn't decrease, you will reduce your carbon emissions and ease the stress on the distribution systems. These benefits alone are worth signing up for the program because as all of you already know, we are all in this together.

Okay, so what does Mom have to do to register for the program? The first thing is to log on to She will enter our zip code, our account number, and our meter number. That's it! So easy, even a pug could do it.

Enrollment in the program does require a new electric meter, because the old traditional meter does not record electricity in hourly intervals. ComEd is offering a reduced monthly lease fee for the first 110,000 participants, so hopefully Mom qualifies for this discount. Mom will have to remain in the program for 12 months, but after that, she is free to leave. The coolest part of the program is that Mom will receive notifications by e-mail after 5 p.m. when predicted day-ahead hourly prices are expected to reach or exceed 14 cents per kilowatt-hour for any numbers during the following day. She will know almost instantly when she is saving money. The website also shows the current price, so she can track it this way too.

Mom is always trying to do anything she can to help the environment and this program is no different. By spreading the word, hopefully other people who can participate in this program will. If your electricity provider offers this type of program, please consider signing up for it. If your electricity provider does not off this type of program, please contact them to ask if they have plans to implement a program like this in the future and/or to inquire about programs that they do offer.

No comments: