Take Control of How & When You Use Electricity
Adams Electric Cooperative is pleased to announce the implementation of the Rate WATTcher Residential Smart Grid RTP (real time pricing) Pilot Program. During the 3-year study, enrollees will pay for electricity based on wholesale market day-ahead pricing. The Cooperative hopes to determine member reactions to this type of rate structure. Will members vary their usage patterns based on the hourly price of electricity? Will members take an active roll in managing their own electric bills?
As a member of Adams Electric Cooperative, you are used to being billed according to the rate schedule that matches a certain rate class. These rates are consistent and are set in order to limit exposure to the extreme variations in rates which can result from time of day or the season during which the electricity is used. The price of electricity varies from hour to hour based on wholesale market prices. As a participant in the Rate WATTcher program, the price you pay for electricity depends on the time of day it is used. This price may be higher or lower than the rate you’re currently paying.
In addition to the hourly cost of electricity, participants are still required to pay a monthly facility charge, a transmission and distribution charge. The facility charge helps the Cooperative cover the costs to maintain poles, wires, transformers, and other services required to deliver the electricity to your home. The transmission and distribution charges are ordinarily bundled in your standard rate. However, in this program, the charges will appear separately and in addition to the hourly cost of energy.
How do I know if the Rate WATTcher program is right for me?
The Rate WATTcher program is not for everyone. Successfully lowering your electric bill requires participants to take an active role in how and when they use electricity. If curtailing usage when prices are high is not possible, if you think it may cause undue hardships, or if you worry you may lose interest before the program ends, you are probably better off on your current rate schedule.
Where do I go to access price information?
While the Rate WATTcher program uses the term real time pricing (RTP), the program will actually use day-ahead pricing. Participants are asked to log in to the web portal each evening in order to gain access to the next day’s pricing information. Ideally, this pricing information will be used by the member to determine how and when electricity will be used on that day.
High Price Alerts
At times, the price of electricity may be quite high. Rate WATTchers will want to manage their costs by conserving energy and by shifting usage to lower priced hours when possible. High price alerts will be posted on the web portal for all participants. Adams Electric is exploring ways to have each participant choose a price threshold where an email or text will be sent to the member’s phone or computer if the price is going to exceed the threshold. At that point, a member can cut back usage accordingly. If contact information changes, it is the members’ responsibility to inform the Cooperative.