ComEd Peak Time Savings
Most of us pay a rigid rate for electricity that hardly ever changes. But new advanced meters open the door for flexible, money-saving electricity plans such as Peak Time Savings (PTS). It gives participants a credit for reducing electricity use during certain high-demand “peak” times on hot summer days. CUB supports the program because it carries no risk, and customers can earn money off their bill while positively impacting the entire grid.
Who Can Enroll in Peak Time Savings?
Any ComEd customer with a digital smart meter can enroll.
Customers enrolled in Smart Ideas Central AC Cycling or on a net metering program CANNOT participate.
How Does it Work?
Under the program, ComEd gives you a bill credit for reducing electricity use during “peak times” on a few summer days when power demand is highest. The Peak Time Savings credit will appear as dollars off your total amount due in the “Miscellaneous” section of your bill. The amount you earn back will be based on your typical usage compared with what you used during one of these peak times.
What Are "Peak Time Savings Hours" and When Will They Happen?
“Peak Time Savings Hours” are periods on hot summer days when ComEd will give participants the option of delaying heavy power usage to earn bill credits. ComEd says that typically a utility will call three to five Peak Time Savings periods per year. These savings periods will typically occur on summer days, usually for a few hours between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m.
How Will I Know When Peak Time Savings Hours Occur?
Once enrolled, you will choose to have notifications sent to you by phone call, text message or email. You will receive a message from ComEd on the day Peak Time Savings hours occur—no earlier than 9 a.m. and at least 30 minutes before the period begins.
When Does Peak Time Savings Begin?
The program is active each summer. Annually, there is an enrollment period for the approaching summer. Once that enrollment period ends, people can still sign up for Peak Time Savings, but they won’t be able to participate until the following summer season. There is no cost to enroll and no penalty for exiting early.
Can I Enroll in Peak Time Savings Even if I Have an Alternative Supplier?
Yes, if you have enrolled with an alternative supplier for your electricity supply, you are still eligible to enroll in ComEd’s Peak Time Savings.
Are There Any ComEd Customers Who Cannot Participate?
At this time, customers on ComEd’s AC Cycling program and those participating in net metering cannot also join the Peak Time Savings Program. AC Cycling rewards customers with bill credits for allowing the utility to remotely cycle their central air conditioner on and off. Net metering allows consumers to sell renewable energy they generate back to the utility.
Customers without a digital smart meter also cannot participate in PTS.
How Much Money Can I Save Through Peak Time Savings?
The program rewards participants with a $1 credit for every kilowatt-hour they reduce their power usage. ComEd will determine the total amount of a customer’s credit using a formula based on his or her typical usage history versus what the customer actually used during a designated “peak time” period.
While exact savings estimates are not available in the first year of the program, ComEd said customers could earn a credit of $1 to $12 during a peak period by combining several simple actions, such as setting the thermostat 4 degrees higher and delaying use of the dishwasher, clothes dryer, vacuum, lights or electronics. (See ComEd chart to the right.)
What if I Don't Reduce My Electricity Usage During Peak Time Savings Hours?
Customers who choose not to reduce their power usage won’t be penalized. They simply won’t get a credit that day. However they can participate in future “peak time” periods.
How is Peak Time Savings Different Than Hourly Pricing and Time of Use Rates?
ComEd’s Hourly Pricing program and Time of Use Rates offered by some alternative suppliers are other examples of pricing plans that take advantage of digital smart meters. Customers enrolled in Hourly Pricing pay an electricity rate that can change by the hour, based on hourly changes in price in the wholesale electricity market. Time of Use customers pay rates that may change for certain set periods of the day or week.
Under these programs, if you can shift heavy electricity usage to lower-demand periods when prices are lower, you have the potential to save money. These could be excellent programs for households that have the flexibility to shift their power usage to certain times. However, there is some risk, since you pay for electricity used during higher-priced times, as well.
Peak Times savings customers aren’t given special rates according to time of day or the day of the week. They just receive a credit if they are able to shift their usage on certain summer days to lower-demand times. If they choose not to do that, they are not penalized with a higher rate. They just don’t get the credit.
Hourly Pricing and Time of Use customers can take part in the Peak Time Savings program, provided they are not also part of AC Cycling or net metering programs.