Time of Use Rates - Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference in cost between peak and off-peak rates?
In "off-peak" hours, rates are discounted to about $.06/kWh. In "peak" hours, rates are raised to about $.38/kWh.
Do I need any additional equipment to participate?
Although you must have a MySmart Meter to enroll in Time of Use rates, no additional equipment is required to participate. The SmartGrid Demonstration project does offer a number of free products that may help you to make the most of Time of Use rates, including MySmart Portal, MySmart Display, MySmart Thermostat and MySmart Home. Visit www.KCPLSmartGrid.com to learn more about these products and which might be helpful to you.
Do Time of Use rates limit my ability to use electricity during peak hours?
Enrollment in Time of Use rates does not affect your ability to use electricity, but it is important to keep in mind that usage during peak hours will contribute to higher cost during that time period.
If I enroll, how long is the commitment?
As a pilot program, KCP&L's Time of Use rates are scheduled to be available through December 2014. KCP&L reserves the right to modify or terminate the program at any time, subject to approval by the Missouri Public Service Commission. You can opt out of the program at any time by calling the SmartGrid Support Team at (800) 535-7687; however you will not be allowed to rejoin the program. Customers who opt out of the program are immediately placed on the standard bill rate for that billing period.
What kind of savings might I expect from TOU rates?
Your savings depend on how and when you use electricity. Customers who enroll in Time of Use rates, but don't make any changes to how and when they use electricity probably won't see any savings. Those who are conscientious about decreasing household energy use during peak hours will likely notice a difference on their bills throughout the summer months.
What can I do maximize savings with Time of Use rates?
Here are a few helpful tips to help you shift your energy usage and save money using Time of Use rates
Run appliances such as dishwashers, washing machines and dryers outside of peak hours. If you have a programmable thermostat, set it to automatically raise the temperature by a few degrees during on-peak hours or when you're not in your home (you may be eligible for a free programmable MySmart Thermostat or a MySmart Home home area network — visit www.KCPLSmartGrid.com to learn more). If you don't have a programmable thermostat, post a reminder to raise your thermostat by a few degrees during peak hours. Use automatic timers to run other appliances only during off-peak hours.
You will find lots of useful information about shifting energy usage and making the most of Time of Use rates by accessing MySmart Portal. MySmart Portal is a free online tool that allows you to better monitor and manage your energy usage.
What if I find that my monthly bill increases with Time of Use rates?
This difference in price through Time of Use rates is designed to encourage KCP&L customers to change their habits by using electricity during off-peak hours. If you notice that your bill has increased, you may opt out of the program and request to be rebilled at standard rates for your most recent billing period, as long as you meet the following requirements.
- You have requested to opt out of the Time of Use rates program
- Your previous bill was higher than it would have been on the standard rate
- You have communicated your concern over higher bill to KCP&L
MySmart Products and Services
Online tool that helps customers understand the impact of their electricity use and encourages them to make decisions that conserve energy and help the environment.
In-home display that provides real-time information that increases awareness of electricity use and identifies opportunities to reduce consumption and save money.
Thermostat that can program temperatures based on season, resulting in up to 20 percent savings in heating and cooling bills.
Internet-based home area network (HAN) that allows you to remotely manage appliances and electronics.
Program that allows customers to better manage their electricity by shifting electricity consumption to off-peak times, while providing KCP&L information about customer behavior.