Hourly Electricity Pricing
by Anne Evens, CEO | Elevate Energy
What goes hand in hand with a residential solar array? Hourly pricing. Hourly electricity pricing programs allow participants to pay hourly, market-based prices for electricity, with no markup. Market electricity prices vary from hour to hour and tend to be lower during off-peak times when demand is less, such as nights and weekends. With these programs, shifting electricity usage to lower priced hours can help participants save on their electric bills. For net metering customers, the opportunity to reduce electric bills is even greater. Not only could these customers pay less for the electricity they purchase, but they could also receive larger credits for their excess generation.
Because market electricity prices increase with demand, prices tend to be highest during hot summer afternoons when people are running air conditioners. Applying those higher prices to the net kilowatthours that net metering customers provide back to the utility means higher dollar credits toward their electric bill. And during the night and on weekends when demand is low, so are the prices – which means that solar customers could pay less when they are buying electricity from the utility.
There are two robust hourly pricing programs in Illinois: ComEd’s Hourly Pricing program and Ameren Illinois’ Power Smart Pricing program. If you have solar on your own home, or if you advise homeowners about solar or install solar arrays on residential properties, please take a few minutes to learn about the hourly pricing options in your community.