Apply for the Time of Use Rate

Want to save money by making small changes to the way you use electricity? Apply for our Time of Use Rate now. A Time of Use Rate pilot program was available to a limited number of customers (150) from January 1 – December 31, 2022. The Municipal Light Board voted to open the rate to an additional 150 customers (for a total number of 300) on a first-come, first-served basis, starting on December 1, 2023. At this time, Belmont Light is accepting customers on a rolling basis for the rate.

You can also download an application, and submit it by emailing TimeOfUse@belmontlight.com.

What Are Time of Use Rates?

While the cost for Belmont Light to purchase and deliver electricity to Belmont homes can vary substantially from hour to hour, under the current Residential Rates, these costs are averaged over a year to produce a single flat rate. In contrast, time of use (TOU) rates, also know as time of day rates, are an innovative rate structure that incentivize customers to use electricity when the cost of generating it is lowest and disincentives electricity use when generation costs are highest.


How Do Time of Use Rates Work?

On TOU rates, customers are charged a higher electric rate when the cost of purchasing and delivering electricity is highest (usually late afternoon to early evening) and a lower electric rate when the cost of generating electricity is lower (usually late evening, morning, and midday).

Belmont Light’s proposed Time of Use Rates would have two separate time periods – on-peak hours and off-peak hours – which would vary based on the time of year. During the Summer (June 1 – September 30), customers would be charged more during the peak hours of 1:00 – 7:00 p.m. and less during off-peak hours of 7:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. the following day. During non-Summer months (October 1 – May 30), the peak hours would be 4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., with off-peak hours of 8:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. the following day.

The chart below shows more information on the specific rates:


Why Time of Use Rates?

There are three main reasons for Belmont Light to implement TOU rates. When done correctly, TOU rates: lower costs for customers who are able to shift their electric usage to off-peak times; lower costs for Belmont Light as a whole by reducing the total amount of energy that it is necessary to purchase during peak times; and create more opportunity for a greener power supply since energy is more likely to come from fossil fuel sources during on-peak times.

One of the major goals of TOU rates is to match the costs that customers are charged with the actual cost of delivering electricity to them. Currently, Belmont Light customers pay a flat rate for electricity consumed at any time, whether the cost to Belmont Light is cheap or expensive, throughout the year.


How Will Time of Use Rates Affect My Bill?

The proposed Time of Use Rates are designed to be revenue neutral for the average customer.. However, if you are able to shift your electric usage to outside of peak usage periods, you can reduce your electric bills.

Click the link below for tools that can show the change in your bills under Time of Use Rates and the effects of shifting your usage from on-peak to off-peak times.


FAQs

FAQs will be added to this section as the program progresses.

How Common Are Time of Use Rates?

Time of Use Rates are more common that you might think. The State of California requires that all investor-owned utilities offer Time of Use Rates on an opt-out basis for customers, and the majority of publicly-owned California utilities offer some sort of Time of Use Rate program. In Massachusetts, 11 out of the 41 publicly-owned utilities, including Concord, Reading, and Groton have Time of Use Rates for at least one of their rate classes. In our research, Belmont Light spoke with staff from those Massachusetts utilities, as well as staff from Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD), City of Fort Collins, CO Utilities, and Glasgow (KY) Electric Plant about their experiences in Time of Use Rates. Their recommendations were incorporated into our proposals.

What Are Capacity Charges?

Capacity is the amount of our load during the annual peak hour for the region, determined by the ISO-New England top demand day for the year. Belmont Light is charged a higher amount based on our load during that hour.

What Are Transmission Charges?

Transmission charges are the costs that Belmont Light incur in getting energy from its sources outside of Belmont’s borders to the Blair Pond Substation that services the town.


Documentation

2021.10.20_TOU Recommendations Memo to MLB_FINAL

2022.06.15 Time of Use Q1 Check-In Webinar Slides