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Time of Use Electricity Rates (TOU)

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Definition: Also known as smart meter rates, time of use electricity rates (TOU) are hydro charges that are applied according to when you use your electricity. When smart meters are in use, your electricity consumption is provided to the utility in much more detail than with conventional meters, making it possible to base your energy bills on the exact times you used the power.

Since consumption is billed based on when you use the electricity, utilities usually charge various rates for certain periods of the day. The most common time of use rates are three specific time blocks known as on peak, mid peak and off peak. The higher time of use rates are charged during on peak times, less during mid peak and the cheapest during off peak. These time periods are based in accordance with traditional high to low volume electricity demand.

Smart meter programs are mandated in certain areas in an effort to get electricity consumers to change their behavior when it comes to energy use and to shift this use to lower-demand times of the day. If consumers want to save energy and money, they should be proactive to use the bulk of their electricity during off peak times.

Learn more about smart meters - what they are and how they affect consumers.
Learn ways to save money and energy when you have a smart meter in 6 Things You Must Do if You Have a Smart Meter (if You Want to Save Money)

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6 Things You Must Do if You Have a Smart Meter
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Pronunciation: ti.me of use ra.tes
Also Known As: smart meter rates, peak hydro rates, smart grid rates, TOU rates
Examples:
Since I have a smart meter, my hydro charges are based on time of use (TOU) electricity rates and when I used the electricity - whether during on peak, mid peak or during off peak hours.

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