Off Peak vs On Peak Energy

What are the real costs?

You may have heard the terms “off peak” and “on peak” lately in relation to your electricity bills and wondered what these are and if changing to a Time of Use (TOU) plan could be a good option for you. In this article we explain the difference between Off Peak, On Peak, and Super Off Peak pricing; the benefits of using electricity during certain times, and why people across the country are making the switch to Time of Use (TOU) rate plans.

What are Peak, Off Peak and Super Off Peak rates?

When you are on one of PSEG Long Islands TOU Rate Plans, Off Peak and Super Off Peak periods (the cheapest) make up more than 88% of the hours in the year. Only 12% or less of time throughout the year is in Peak (the most expensive).

  • Super Off Peak: These time periods offer the lowest possible rates available for a time of use plan and enable the biggest cost savings. It’s basically the best time to use electricity to save money. PSEG Long Island Super Off Peak rates are discounted 40% from standard rates.
  • Off Peak: During off-peak hours, electricity costs are roughly the same as on one of PSEG Long Island’s standard fixed rates that many customers are accustomed to paying (such as rate 180).
  • Peak: This is the time when electricity is the most expensive to use. To save the most money, you should try to avoid consuming electricity during these times and shift energy use to when electricity rates are lowest.
  • Overnight: PSEG Long Island provides yet another option – the Overnight Rate plan. The overnight rate plan is a simplified basic TOU rate plan, with only daytime and nighttime periods. For the Overnight Rate plan, the daytime rate is slightly higher than the standard rate, while the nighttime rate is at the same 40% discount as the Super Off Peak. The overnight block is an hour shorter than the Super Off Peak blocks and accounts for 29% of the hours in the year.

Benefits of Using Energy during Off Peak & Super Off Peak Hours

Consuming electricity during peak hours is more expensive, potentially worse for the environment, and causes more strain on the electrical grid. Switching to Time of Use and using more energy, when convenient, during off peak times is an easy way to lower your annual energy bills, potentially increase the use of environmentally friendly sources of energy and reduce outages. When energy demand is high and the most unpredictable, we are more likely to have to purchase energy from more expensive sources with the added downside that they may not be as environmentally friendly. There are also other “costs” associated with energy used at peak times that go beyond your energy bill that TOU helps us all avoid.

Father and daughter on Long Island

Improved Electrical Grid Reliability

When energy consumption is more predictable, we are able to better control the entire system including what we pay for energy. The electric grid works best when energy supply matches energy use. When there is a mismatch, brownouts, blackouts, and outages are a risk. For energy customers in Long Island specifically, anticipating demand ensures PSEG Long Island’s reliable power supply for all Long Islanders and reduces the chance of an outage. No one likes outages, and we do everything we can to avoid them. TOU helps even out demand and allows us to better manage unplanned spikes in energy demand and improve the reliability and upkeep of the system for all.
kids on a dock

Better for the Environment

When energy demand is predictable, PSEG Long Island is better able to source electricity from more affordable and often cleaner power sources. This energy isn’t just cheaper, it’s also better for the environment. By avoiding the need to source from less environmentally friendly “peaker plants” we can make an even greater contribution to improving air quality and reduce overall reliance on energy sources that aren’t environmentally friendly. Unbelievably, every year, hundreds of thousands of megawatts of clean, affordable energy ends up going unused across the country. This can be avoided simply by consuming energy in predictable, intelligent ways.

Lower Energy Bills

It’s been shown in similar programs and studies across the US that when you switch to Time of Use and consume during off peak (cheaper) electricity hours, most people see their annual energy bills go down. Over time, research has shown that when more people use Time of Use, the cost of daytime energy goes down for all users. All of this applies to Long Island too. If you are already on Time of Use or simply looking for new ways to save, please visit our TOU Tips.

4 Rate Plans to Choose From

For information on current rates and delivery charges, download the Residential Rate Booklet. For a detailed look at monthly Power Supply Charges click here.