Time of Use Rates
What is Time of Use (TOU)?
The new Time of Use (TOU) rate plans let you take advantage of the hours of the day when energy is less expensive for us to produce so you pay less too. Just like riding the LIRR at off-peak hours, you can now pay for electricity the same way. Because energy production costs can range as much as 70% at different times of the day (peak, off-peak and super off-peak hours), choosing a TOU rate plan can be a less expensive alternative to other rates.
How to switch to TOU
Why is TOU important?
By simply shifting energy usage to off-peak hours, we can use cleaner and more affordable power sources–helping you save in the process.
What will TOU do for me?
Use the calculator below to see how the new Time of Use rate plan lets you take advantage of the times of day when electricity is less costly for you to use. The calculator factors in your past usage and shows what your previous payments would have been with TOU. Once you've selected from the available rate plans, you can decide when to use your high-electricity-use devices (like electric car charger, pool pump, air conditioning, etc.) to avoid the high-cost (peak) times of day.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t use any power during peak hours. We all still have to live our lives. Things like using the oven, running smaller appliances and turning on lights won’t have much of an effect, so you won’t be inconvenienced. Finding the rate plan that best suits your lifestyle can make a difference for you and your family.
Why are we doing this?
4 Rate Plans to Choose From
With the Short Peak rate, you can take advantage of Off Peak (lower cost) periods starting at 7pm and then the cheapest Super Off Peak from 10pm until 6am the next day on weekdays. There is only one 3 hour period (4pm until 7pm) during weekdays when energy costs fall in the peak pricing time period. Weekends and holidays have off peak periods all day!
This plan pushes both Off Peak and Super Off Peak hours back an hour, starting at 8pm and 11pm respectively. If you are an early riser, this rate will give you more time in the morning to use energy and save. Peak hours are from 4pm until 8pm weekdays. Weekends and holidays have off peak periods all day!
The Early Peak plan gives you the same number of hours of savings as Late Peak, with both Off Peak and Super Off Peak hours starting an hour earlier, 7pm and 10pm respectively. Weekends and holidays have off peak periods all day!
With this plan you get Super Off Peak pricing for 7 hours at night–from 11pm until 6am–but with a slightly higher cost than the standard rate during the day. This plan could work well for you if you need to use a little more energy during the afternoon and early evening (peak hours on other plans) but you normally consume most of your energy during super off-peak hours.
Time of Use FAQ
Before you switch to a TOU rate plan you can calculate your savings and find the plan that best suits how and when you use electricity. The Rate Comparison tool will calculate your lowest cost option based on your lifestyle. The tool does this by comparing your current rate to other rate options based on how your household has used electricity for the past 365 days.
When comparing rate options, consider that you have the opportunity for greater savings by easily shifting energy use from higher cost hours to lower cost hours. One way is by charging your EV overnight. See how simple shifts can save even more.
Many households can lower their annual energy bill just by switching to a Time of Use rate plan; but it doesn’t stop there. You can also save even more money by making small shifts in energy use. Log in to My Account and take a quick minute to use our Rate Comparison Tool. Your personalized rate analysis will help you select which rate plan is best for you. Once you are on a TOU rate plan, you can better manage your electric bill. Our new features and tools make it easier to help you understand what times of the day are most and least expensive to use energy.
Log in to My Account to view your new TOU bill and track your energy use with the free MySmartEnergy portal.
You can switch back to the standard fixed rate anytime you want - there’s no penalty, minimum or commitment required. You can also switch between time of use rates.
Please note that if you switch back to a standard fixed rate such as Rate 180, 580 or to the TOU Overnight (193) rate from the Short Peak (190), Early Peak (192) or Late Peak (191) TOU rate you will need to wait for a period of 12 months from the date of exit to come back onto a Short Peak (190), Early Peak (192) or Late Peak (191) TOU rate. If you aren’t sure whether to switch, we recommend using the Rate Comparison Tool calculator to help make your choice.
On a Standard Fixed rate plan, like Rate (180), the rate you’re charged for electricity use is the same all day and night.
Time of Use rate plans, like Short Peak (190), Early Peak (192), Late Peak (191) and Overnight (193) give you access to lower rates during Super Off Peak hours when electricity costs less to provide. Super Off Peak rates are discounted 40 percent from the Standard Rate. During Off Peak hours, electricity costs the same as Standard Rate (180) and during peak hours it costs slightly more because energy costs more to provide.
Most households see an annual savings by taking advantage of Time of Use rate plans and the cheaper Super Off Peak times.
The bottom line is that these are blocks of time during the day when electricity costs more or less depending on what “block” of the time or day it is. On a Time of Use (TOU) rate plan, off peak and super off peak hours are less expensive times of the day to use your electricity with super off peak being the cheapest time. In contrast, peak hours are the most expensive hours to provide and use electricity. Basically, TOU rates are more transparent as customers can see how much electricity costs at different times of day. With our new TOU rates you are in the driver’s seat where you decide how to manage your energy in a way that fits your lifestyle while potentially cutting costs.
On every TOU plan, weekends and Federal holidays are always considered off peak. PSEG Long Island considers the following dates Federal holidays:
- New Year’s Day
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
- Washington’s Birthday (Presidents Day)
- Memorial Day
- Independence Day
- Labor Day
- Columbus Day / Indigenous People’s Day
- Veteran’s Day
- Thanksgiving Day
- Christmas Day
On Time of Use Rate plans, Peak, Off Peak, and Super Off Peak hours do not change by season. On TOU, electric rates are still slightly higher in the summer months, and slightly lower during the winter just as they are on a standard fixed rate plan like Rate 180.
PSEG Long Island is offering Time of Use as an option for Long Islanders and we will continue to offer traditional standard fixed rate plans too, like Standard Rate (180). You can switch to a Time of Use plan and switch back at any time if it doesn’t work for you.
Once you have found a Time of Use rate plan that works best for you, it’s important to know what your peak, off peak and super off peak hours are and to make simple shifts in energy use to take full advantage of TOU’s lower rates. Check out these easy ways to save with TOU.
Customers with solar systems that do not produce the homes full annual electric needs may benefit by enrolling in a TOU rate plan.
Customers with a solar system that include storage (solar + battery) that does not produce the homes full annual electric needs and requires more energy during peak hours than the solar panels can produce, may also benefit by enrolling in a TOU rate plan. The battery would charge from the solar panels in the morning and early afternoon, during a lower cost rate period and discharge during the higher cost peak period. This will minimize any energy usage from the grid during the higher cost peak period.
It is very important for customers with solar systems joining a TOU rate plan to know that The TOU Short Peak, Early Peak and Late Peak rate plans have three energy banks, one for each tier: peak, off peak and super off peak. Energy produced in a period cannot be transferred into another bank period. For example, solar energy produced during peak hours may be more than the home requires during those peak hours. In such a condition, the peak energy bank would not be available to offset energy in other periods and a customer might be better off on the Time of Use Overnight rate plan or a non-time of use, like a 180 rate.
For those with a solar or solar + battery system that has been installed for a period of 12-months or longer, a Rate Comparison Tool is available and may help in deciding which rate works best. The Rate Comparison Tool uses actual billing history hour by hour and will reflect rate savings based on historic usage patterns. Changes in behavior or system configurations are not factored into the rate calculation. If your system’s past years configuration wasn’t set to optimize the TOU rate structure, the Rate Comparison Tool may not reflect your actual savings opportunity. If you plan on purchasing a new system or are considering adding a battery, the installing company may have tools to optimize the size and set up of your system as well as predict your adjusted load to help you decide which rate provides the most benefits.
There are no changes needed for the balanced billing program for Time of Use.
With Balanced Billing, you have the security of knowing the amount of each electric bill. We'll project the cost of your electric usage for an entire year and divide it into 12 equal payments. If your monthly payment would create an overpayment at the end of the plan year, we’ll reduce it. If it ends with an excess balance, it’s rolled over into the next 12 months. Your year-end bill will be the same amount you were billed all year.
Customers will continue to be reviewed for any changes in electricity usage at 6 months and 12 months during the year. An “off cycle” bill when changing rates can trigger the account to automatically go through the recalculation process.
The “Compare Rate Plans” button and the Rate Comparison table in MyAccount will only appear for customers who are eligible and have an AMI meter with 365 Days of AMI usage history. If you do not meet these criteria, please contact us at 1-800-490-0025 to consult with one of our experienced TOU customer service representatives.
After you choose a TOU rate plan and make the switch, occasionally look at your energy usage and bills across the seasons. If you are finding that, based on what times of the day you use electricity you could save more on another plan you can change to another plan (non-TOU or TOU) or make some shifts in when you use your electricity so you can save more. You can check the Rate Comparison Tool as often as you like, and the data and calculations will update monthly after each new billing period ends.
In general, customers with My Account should use the Rate Comparison Tool every six months and check to see if a better rate works for their household as circumstances can change. Customers may change their usage habits or purchase an electric vehicle, hot tub, pool pump or smart thermostat that could have significant savings benefits.
Bill amounts may go up during the seasons of highest demand, however will typically have offsetting savings during the fall, winter and spring seasons. You can increase your savings by making simple shifts in energy use that best fits you and your family’s lifestyle.