Friday, November 11, 2011

The "How I Hate Hydro's Time Of Use Rates" Rant

Recently Hydro has instituted "time of use rates" for electricity use. It is supposedly to provide a financial incentive to conserve energy and to shift some consumption away from on-peak periods. Originally when I first heard of this proposal I thought it sounded like a good idea. We all want to save energy and money, don't we? In some way it must be good for the environment, you know, reduced our "carbon foot print" and all that jazz. Of course that was before it was actually implemented.

Now I absolutely HATE it! For a number of reasons. Firstly it just seems like a cash grab on Hydro's part. Before the rate change we paid about 7 cents a kWh regardless of when it was used during the day. Now it's 10.8 cents a kWh at high peak, 9.2 cents at mid peek, and 6.2 cents at low peak. So if I use electricity between 7 pm and 7 am, I save at the most 1 cent. However, I'm not likely to do laundry at three in the morning. At the most I might have a two hour window in the evening when I have time to do any. Of course the weekend is low peak at anytime, so I can use more electricity then as well. You're probably thinking that's not too bad. However, if you are forced to do something during high peak times you are seriously dinged! Even so, that's not my biggest problem with it.

I stay home with the kids during the day. It was really easy to start the laundry in the morning and come back to it through out the day. It was very workable and the kids even helped me sort and match things. It was a good opportunity to get some work done and the kids liked being included and "helping". One of the other things I did a lot during the day was bake. It's been an activity I've done with Alice since she was a toddler. It's a fun mommy-and-me activity and also a learning one. On top of cookies and muffins we made together I had started baking our own bread. We go through bread at a staggering rate in this house! It was much cheaper to make the bread than to buy it. Plus who doesn't love the smell of fresh bread? These are all things that use a lot of electricity so we can't do them together anymore. I can't afford to ignore the fact it will cost nearly twice as much to do a load of laundry or bake cookies with my daughter.

Normally these things would all be done during the day. I would have my evenings and weekends free to spend with my husband and family. Heaven forbid I want to do something just for "me". Instead I spend my "down time" doing laundry or baking when I would much rather be putting my feet up. Yes, yes, I know. First World Problems. It still bugs me though. Like I said, this is a rant, not an argument. I also don't like people who don't signal before they switch lanes and those who text in theaters. Seriously? Cut the cord already. Has it effected your routine too? For the better or worse?


  1. Could not agree more Jen! I think that this whole exercise of 'time of use rates' is rather self defeatist..If we all follow the 'low to mid rate' windows, won't those then become 'high peak' windows??? Then, everything will have to get switched around again if we follow the energy boards logic..I guess that would be a good thing because then you & the kids can go back to what sounds like really fun and educational shared task time!... On another note, I too find people who don't signal incredibly frustrating not to mention rude..Partnered on the irritant scale is drivers who even even though they see you coming, and pretty close too think 'oh, well, I think I'll turn right into her lane anyway"...Well, it's the weekend so, like the rest of the lemmings, I will go and do some laundry!"...Heather

  2. Those are my thoughts exactly! It seems like it would put less a strain on the power if it was spaced out over the day. Well, what do I know, eh? As far as the car signals go, it must be fustrating to buy a BMW or Merc only to find the signals NEVER WORK! They never seem to work around here anyways. Maybe they're an optional add on! lol


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