Monday, June 16, 2008

Unbelievably Low Electricity Rates

Here’s something you’re not going to believe - electric rates below 1 cent per kilowatt hour (kwh). My electricity provider, Ameren, must have lost its mind! For most of the United States, electric rates are about ten cents per kwh, with many areas paying much more than that.

As a participant in the “PowerSmart Pricing” plan, my electricity rate fluctuates from hour to hour, depending on the demand at the time. Shown below are the rates for June 11th, 2008. Notice that from 2:00am until 4:00am electric rates are below 1 cent, and then slightly more than 1 cent per kwh from 4:00am until 6:00am. The highest cost for the day was just over 11 cents per kwh at 3:00pm.

Date * * * * * * * Hour * * * * Price
2008-06-11 * * * 00 - 01 * * * 0.015520
2008-06-11 * * * 01 - 02 * * * 0.012190
2008-06-11 * * * 02 - 03 * * * 0.009200
2008-06-11 * * * 03 - 04 * * * 0.009380
2008-06-11 * * * 04 - 05 * * * 0.012560
2008-06-11 * * * 05 - 06 * * * 0.013790
2008-06-11 * * * 06 - 07 * * * 0.020730
2008-06-11 * * * 07 - 08 * * * 0.030550
2008-06-11 * * * 08 - 09 * * * 0.042160
2008-06-11 * * * 09 - 10 * * * 0.060670
2008-06-11 * * * 10 - 11 * * * 0.077770
2008-06-11 * * * 11 - 12 * * * 0.091420
2008-06-11 * * * 12 - 13 * * * 0.100440
2008-06-11 * * * 13 - 14 * * * 0.108230
2008-06-11 * * * 14 - 15 * * * 0.111300
2008-06-11 * * * 15 - 16 * * * 0.111880
2008-06-11 * * * 16 - 17 * * * 0.104470
2008-06-11 * * * 17 - 18 * * * 0.095140
2008-06-11 * * * 18 - 19 * * * 0.084570
2008-06-11 * * * 19 - 20 * * * 0.070230
2008-06-11 * * * 20 - 21 * * * 0.084700
2008-06-11 * * * 21 - 22 * * * 0.073010
2008-06-11 * * * 22 - 23 * * * 0.042210
2008-06-11 * * * 23 - 24 * * * 0.027310

As unbelievable as these rates are, I was even more surprised on June 16th when my 3:00am rate dropped to .00207 (two tenths of a cent per kwh).

These low rates won’t last forever. When plug-in electric cars become available, most will be charged at night. This increased demand for electricity will drive up the rates. But for now I’m taking advantage of these exceptionally low nighttime rates by topping off the charge on my batteries while rates are at their lowest, and using the stored energy when rates are higher. My battery charger is on a timer, set to power it up from 1:00am until 5:00am. Load switching is automatic. I’ve also switched most of my laundry chores to late-night. See my previous post for additional details, or my March 15th post.

For information about the Ameren plan, visit the PowerSmart Website.

John

2 comments:

Damon said...

Here's hoping that that's not baseload coal power! B^>

Rgds

Damon

Anonymous said...

Over the next four years there is a high probability that we will have major nationwide power outages due to coronal mass ejections (CMEs). Power sources other than the Grid may well become crucial for survival. See this recent article in Scientific American:
http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=bracing-for-a-solar-superstorm

P.S. to John: A computer crash caused me to lose many of my e-mail addresses. Yours was among those lost. Please send me an e-mail so I'll have your address again.
--- Bob of Bartelso