Since debuting in 2013, GVEC’s line of solar products and services has expanded and evolved. In 2017, for instance, we brought solar installations entirely in-house as part of GVEC Electrician services, creating a convenient, all-in-one solar buying process. In 2019, we added home battery solutions, which store excess solar energy from panels for use during times when solar panels don’t generate electricity. We’ve added extra solar options over the years to create value and improve quality of life for those we serve. With those objectives in mind, I am pleased to announce our new Time of Use (TOU) billing option for members with solar panel systems.
What Are Time of Use Rates?
TOU rates fluctuate according to the time of day and the amount of demand for electricity along the grid. We base our TOU pricing on the weighted average wholesale power supply cost of GVEC’s contract portfolio and the real-time power needed to supplement that portfolio. As with any Cooperative electric rate, GVEC does not profit from TOU, but rather passes wholesale costs directly to members. As detailed below, during summer “Peak” hours (June 1-September 30, 3-7 p.m.) and during non-summer “Normal” hours, TOU rates are slightly higher than our standard blended Generation and Transmission (G&T) rate (currently $0.074 per kilowatt-hour). However, during summertime Normal and “Economy” hours and Economy non-summer hours, TOU rates are lower:
How Does Time of Use Benefit Solar Customers?
Solar buyers tend to have higher-than-average self-awareness regarding their electricity usage, making TOU a good fit. The less electricity used from the grid during summer Peak hours, for example—especially high-energy appliances—the greater the savings. It’s possible that TOU participants could experience slightly higher-than-average monthly bills from increased AC usage during extreme summer heat. On a yearly basis, though, we expect participants to enjoy overall savings compared to solar and non-solar members paying the standard G&T rate.
Home Batteries are Perfect for Time of Use
If you’ve added battery storage to home solar panels, imagine how much you could save by running on 100% battery power—or as close as possible—during Peak hours. Under that usage scenario, your savings could be even more substantial. To participate in TOU, you must own home solar panels, be a Cooperative member and have a GVEC Interconnection Agreement on file. This agreement, which allows you to sell excess power generated by home panels to the Cooperative, is a primary reason why solar members without home battery storage can still enjoy substantial savings from TOU. To learn more about TOU, home solar or battery storage solutions, call GVEC today at 800.223.4832.
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