Time of Use Rates Public Forum #2

Following a successful Time of Use Rates Public Forum #1, which was designed as a Time of Use 101 session, Belmont Light, the Municipal Light Board, and the Light Board Advisory Committee will hold Public Forum #2 to get into more details about Time of Use Rates.

To be discussed:

  • How specific customers would be affected by Time of Use Rates.
  • How you can optimize your energy savings with Time of Use Rates.
  • Details of our Time of Use Rates pilot, set to kick off this fall.

Registration is not required, as this is a public meeting, but we will email registrants with an event reminder, link to the event, and recording following the event.

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 Implement 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.

The graphs below demonstrates the average daily usage of electricity by hour of the day and the TOU time periods that would apply:

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.

Feedback Form

Have feedback about Time of Use Rates? We want to hear from you!


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?

Answer to come. .