Off-Peak Appliance Savings

Off-Peak appliance savings with TOU. What does it mean? And how to do it right.

Once you understand that you can control your energy bill just by changing when you do certain things in your house, it’s easy to take action and keep getting the best deal on electricity with a TOU plan. It’s also simple to start, because you just need to begin looking around the house at what impacts your energy consumption most. After electric heating and air conditioning, look for other programmable “set it and forget it” uses of electricity. Set timers on pool pumps and pool heaters to run during Off-Peak or better yet Super Off-Peak discount hours. After setting these up, looking at your appliances should be next on your list.
Father and daughter doing laundry

Washers and Dryers

Washers and can use about 3045 watts–that's the equivalent of 435 LED light bulbs! Fortunately, though, these are some of the simplest appliances to move into an off-peak routine. If you aren’t already on TOU, simply use this rate calculator to choose the rate plan that best matches your lifestyle and try to wash and dry your clothes during hours marked as “super off-peak” or “off-peak”. Those are the hours when you’ll get the best deal on electricity (the cheapest rate).

In addition to washing and drying your clothes during off-peak and super off-peak hours, you can save more by doing the following:

  • Wash full loads, but don’t overfill
  • Use shorter wash cycles when possible
  • If your machine has an adjustable load option use it for smaller loads
  • Wash with cold water
  • Line dry what you can instead of using your dryer
  • Clear your dryer’s lint filter after each load

 
TOU Smart Tip: Start your washer after dinner and then dry your clothes overnight. If you have a lot of laundry you need to get done, do it on the weekends when all hours are Off-Peak or Super Off-Peak.

Woman opening oven

Electric Ovens and Stove

Similar to your refrigerator, it may be difficult to only use your electric oven or stove during Off-Peak and Super Off-Peak hours, but considering the typical oven runs at 2,500 watts and stoves 1,500, at medium-high heat, using these appliances for an hour each day would account for 75 kWh (10,770 light bulbs) and 45 kWh (6,400 light bulbs), respectively. Additionally, running your oven during the day in hotter months increases the load on your air conditioner, causing you to spend more money on AC too.

So what can you do?

  • Consider pre-cooking meals either before the late afternoon and early evening periods during Off-Peak hours and reheating when needed.
  • If you like to bake, prep at any time and then bake during bake during Off-Peak and Super Off-Peak hours.
  • Don’t use the preheat feature of your oven unless absolutely necessary
  • Use smaller appliances like toaster ovens, microwaves, and slow cookers instead of always using the oven -especially during Peak hours.

 
TOU Smart Tip: Pre Cook meals during Off-peak hours and reheat when needed. Stagger using your oven and other larger appliances like the dishwasher or washing machine to cut your energy consumption and improve efficiencies.

child at dishwasher

Dishwasher

Compared to handwashing, a dishwasher can actually help you save money once you factor in the water heating costs. However, dishwashers still consume a significant amount of electricity and because the appliance generates heat, running your dishwasher during hot summer days can unnecessarily heat your home and cause you to spend more money on AC. Fortunately, it’s easy to start the dishwasher before you go to bed or on weekends. Your dishwasher model may even have a built-in timer that you can set to turn on during the ideal money saving hours of the day–like overnight super off-peak periods.

In addition to washing your dishes during off-peak or super off-peak, doing the following things can help you save even more money.

  • Wash full loads
  • Turn off heated-dry
  • Wash during cooler hours of the day
  • Pre-rinse heavily soiled dishes to prevent the need for a second cycle

 
TOU Smart Tip: Get in the habit of starting your dishwasher at the end of the day to save more money and heat your home slightly during cooler night hours.

Children playing video games

Electronics for Entertainment & Work

Depending on your home, electronic appliances like TVs and computers can make up between 5% and 10% of your overall energy costs. Of these, electronic entertainment - and nowadays - work related computer use, can make up a significant portion of this energy consumption. Electronic appliances include televisions, video game consoles, cable boxes, internet routers, and computers.

It obviously isn’t realistic to use electronics only off-peak hours, but by simply lowering the screen brightness and remembering to turn off your devices when you aren’t using them, it may surprise you to see how much you can lower your electricity costs. By the way, televisions with LED technology use 25% less energy than LCD televisions and up to 40% less than plasma screen TVs. So, upgrading your TV may not only improve your entertainment experience, but also save you money.

Here’s a little know savings fact… Chances are you have upwards of 25 appliances in your house that suck electricity whether they're on or not, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We call those appliances energy vampires. There is an easy way to ward off those energy vampires – smart power strips. Smart power strips save you energy (money!) without losing any of those old winning personality traits, like lots of outlets and surge protection. They work without any effort on your part by assessing a device’s electricity usage and automatically turning the power off to devices that are not being used at that moment.

You could make it super easy for you and your family to reduce your monthly energy bill by plugging things like your TV, game consoles, cable boxes, home theater components, computer or computer monitors into a smart power strip. Some even have timers so you can set when they do and don’t turn off power to devices.

TOU Smart Tip: Lower screen brightness especially during peak energy hours.

ENERGY STAR® Appliance and Product Rebates

To save even more money and energy, purchase ENERGY STAR saving appliances and products and be sure to take advantage of our rebates