Shift and Save with ComEd's Hourly Pricing Program
To manage your costs with ComEd’s Hourly Pricing program, shift some of your electricity use to hours when real-time prices tend to be low, such as night and weekend hours. Here are some tips to help you shift some of your electricity use to low price times and use electricity wisely in general. Review the seasonal price patterns and seasonal tips for more ways to cut costs with real-time electricity pricing.
- Avoid heating or cooling your home more than needed. Set your thermostat to the warmest comfortable temperature during the summer, and the coolest comfortable temperature during the winter.
- Adjust the thermostat setting when away from home or sleeping. You can save around 10 percent a year on cooling and heating bills by turning your thermostat setting up or down 7°F to 10°F for eight hours per day (U.S. Department of Energy). Use a programmable thermostat to conserve energy automatically.
- Do the laundry during hours when the price of electricity is low. Use cold water when possible to cut water heating costs.
- Charge devices such as cell phones and cordless tools at night when electricity prices are low. Unplug the charger from the outlet when not in use.
- Run the dishwasher when electricity prices are low. If your dishwasher has a timer or “delay start” function, you can use it to automatically start the cycle during lower priced hours. Use the “energy saver” or “no heat dry” option to save even more energy.
- Reduce wasted “standby” power that is used by electronics that are not in use. Unplug electronics or use a power strip to shut off power to multiple electronic devices at once.
- Use energy efficient lighting such as compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs and make sure lights are turned off when not in use.
Learn more about managing household energy costs by visiting ComEd.com.
Fall, Winter, and Spring Tips
Real-time electricity prices tend to be low most of the time during the cooler months of the year. The highest prices of the day usually occur in the early evening, but even the highest prices of the day are often relatively low. The following tips can help you manage your electricity costs during the fall, winter, and spring.
- Set your thermostat to the coolest comfortable setting, and adjust the temperature setting for hours when you are sleeping or away from home.
- Use space heaters with caution. Portable electric space heaters are generally less efficient than whole-home heating systems. Wide use throughout your home can result in higher electricity bills. Also, space heaters can pose a fire hazard, so use caution and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Change Furnace Filters. If you have a forced-air heating system, replace or clean your furnace filters once a month. This is an easy and affordable way to extend the lifetime of your furnace while keeping energy costs low. When filters are clogged with dirt, the furnace must work harder to emit warm air. A new and clean filter can help your furnace operate more efficiently.
- For holiday lighting, look for LED lights. LED lights use a technology called light emitting diodes and are extremely energy efficient and durable.
Real-time electricity prices tend to vary the most during the summer. The highest prices of the day usually occur in the afternoon, and prices are often higher on days when weather is hot. The following tips can help you manage your summer electricity costs with ComEd’s Hourly Pricing program.
- Reduce electricity usage between the hours of 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.
- Set your thermostat to the warmest comfortable temperature. Increase the temperature setting when electricity prices are high and when you are away from home.
- To stay cool for less, run the air conditioner in the evening, overnight, and during the morning hours when electricity is cheaper. Increase your thermostat temperature setting or turn off your air conditioner during the afternoon. Try pre-cooling your home at night when electricity prices tend to be low, as shown in the table here:
- Use fans along with or instead of your air conditioner. Fans use far less electricity than air conditioners. Fans could allow you to raise the thermostat setting 4° with no reduction in comfort (U.S. Department of Energy).
- Shade sunny windows to keep your home cooler.
Seasonal Price Patterns
Real-time electricity prices tend to follow seasonal patterns. These relatively predictable patterns can make it easy to manage your electricity costs with ComEd’s Hourly Pricing program. Simply keep the seasonal price patterns in mind, and shift some of your electricity use to times when real-time prices tend to be low.
Fall, Winter, and Spring Price Patterns
- Real-time electricity prices tend to be lower most of the time during the fall, winter, and spring.
- During the cooler seasons, the highest prices of the day are most likely to occur in the morning and early evening. However, even the highest prices of the day are often low or moderate.
- Electricity prices can increase somewhat in December and January, usually due to holiday lighting and increased retail activity.
- Prices can also sometimes spike when cold snaps push up natural gas prices, increasing the cost of operating gas burning power plants.
Summer Price Patterns
- Summer is the season when hourly electricity prices typically fluctuate most, and high prices are more likely to occur than at other times of the year.
- During the summer, electricity prices tend to be highest in the late afternoon.
- Depending on weather and other conditions, some days will have higher prices than others. In particular, high price days tend to occur when the weather is particularly hot, while low price days can occur on weekends and when the weather is cool.
*Typical pricing patterns based on average prices for January 2012 through March 2016