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What is Time of Use and how is it putting the squeeze on your wallet?


Nov 28 / by Adam Boucher

You’ve changed the lightbulbs, the refrigerator, washed your clothes during what you think is off-peak hours, and still your electric bill is coming in on the higher side. This isn’t due to some kind of magical force that is sucking power out of your house like a vampire on a moonlit night, instead it’s due to the new rates that the power companies are using (which is just as terrifying).

Previously, California’s independently owned utilities (IoUs) had a capped system in which you were charged a flat rate based on energy consumption. If you used too much in a price section you were then bumped up to the next tier which was a slightly higher price per kilowatt hour. Use up more and you’re dumped into the highest tier for the rest of the month and paid that flat rate.

Now, things have changed.

Instead of using a flat rate per usage range, the major utilities have already shifted to a Time of Use (ToU) model that is adjusted to charge the highest rate for power during the time when people are home. This means that if you are going to wash your nacho stained clothes at 6PM you are paying the highest rate available rather than if you washed the clothes at 3AM when it is the cheapest.


Why have power companies done this?

It isn’t anything personal. Your utility doesn’t dislike you like your ex does, but rather they are getting so much power back from solar systems that are already installed that they have to pay other states to take it. Due to this surplus, they shifted the rates to a more beneficial time of the day for them and that’s when most people are home.

And it’s looking more and more like the future of housing and commercial properties will involve solar. Which means more power will be pushed back on to the grid and that means more money to be spent sending it out to other states.

What’s the point of solar if I am going to be charged for a higher rate when there isn’t any sun?

We’re glad you asked because that is the million dollar question. These new ToU’s really undermine the benefits of having a solar system that doesn’t have a battery or a brain. Meaning, the old solar only panel system is going to go away because without having the ability to control when and where energy is being used the owner of the panels is wasting their money.

naak was built specifically to address where and when power is being used in your home or office. Not only can you set up schedules for your appliances to turn on, run, and shut off during the cheapest rate periods, but you’ll be able to sell your excess electricity on our energy marketplace.

Using naak you are able to pick when you use power so you are getting the best deal possible on the energy you use.

If you think that this is the last time the rates are going to change, then you’d be wrong.

If recent political movements have shown us anything it’s that nothing is for certain. Having a static energy system does nothing for you and cannot adjust to changing policies or rate adjustments.

naak is here to help make your energy system adjustable to changing climates both environmentally and politically. It will help in extending the relevance of your solar and battery lifespans by being making them active systems rather than passive. All of this will culminate in saving both your energy and your money for another day.

If you want to prepare yourself for the future where rate changes will affect your bottom line whiling making sure your solar panels stay more relevant than your Dad’s knock-knock jokes, head over to our partners area and see about getting naak today.


Adam Boucher - CEO and Co-Founder of naak - Adam has developed new forms of financing, funding over 1,000 solar projects and started a commercial solar contracting and development company that has served over 10,000 units of multifamily affordable housing. Inspired by the convergence of new technologies and their disruptive impact on energy, Adam is now leading the development of the new energy cloud marketplace empowering individuals and businesses to produce, consume, and manage their own energy.

naak - naak places intelligent energy management in the palm of your hand. Powered by the carbonTRACK Smart Hub, naak's energy cloud platform gives you the ability to control and optimize the energy produced, consumed and stored in your home or business.

Tags: time of use, News

Written by Adam Boucher


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