A small group of people attended the Power Smart Pricing presentation on May 9, 2011, in the Southern Illinois University-Carbondale Student Center Illinois Room from 6:30 to 7:30 pm. A representative from CNT Energy went over the basics of the Power Smart Pricing program that helps consumers save money on their electric bills.
CNT Energy is short for Center for Neighborhood Technology, a non-profit that has existed since 1978, which administers the PSP program.
People who choose to sign up for Power Smart Pricing–offered in the Carbondale area through Ameren–instead of paying one fixed rate for electricity all the time, pay different rates at different hours of the day, based on the usage at various times (market-based rates). The higher the usage at a particular time of day and month, the higher the rate–and vice-versa.
Once a consumer has signed up for PSP, he or she has the advantage of fluctuating rates and can maximize this advantage by adjusting their use of electricity accordingly. For example, rates are lowest during the nighttime hours in both winter and summer, so people who throw their laundry into the washer before going to bed are paying less for the electricity their washer uses than people who do laundry during the day.
During the summer, peak times for electricity usage and rates are from 1:00 to 5:00 pm, with 3 pm being the highest. Therefore, this is the time for PSP users to avoid using appliances such as washers, dryers, chargers, air conditioners, and electric stoves.
Some PSP customers use the summer rate structure to their advantage by pre-cooling their home in the 10:00 pm to 10:00 am hours, when the rates are lowest, setting the thermostat between 69 and 72 degrees. During the high-usage time, 10:00 am to 6:00 pm, they let their air conditioner idle between 82 and 85 degrees. In the evening, 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm, they set their air conditioner at a comfortable 75 to 78 degrees. (It’s always best, of course, to set the AC at the highest temperature that is comfortable for you.)
PSP customers can see a summary comparing their monthly electricity costs under Power Smart Pricing with the cost of the Ameren standard rate by going online to the Power Smart website.
CNT Energy’s Power Smart Pricing presentation on May 9, 2011, at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale’s Student Center was well worth attending. The information provided was clear, concise, and definitely useful. Anyone interested in this money-saving program can find detailed information at: