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Time of Use Metering: Understanding Your Increased Electric Bill in CO

Updated: Apr 27, 2023

Many homeowners in Colorado and Wyoming are experiencing higher electric bills due to the time of day they use the most electricity. Originally piloted by Xcel Energy, other large utilities such as IREA and Black Hills Energy have adopted Time of Use (TOU) Metering Programs as well. These pricing experiments have caused the electric bills in hundreds of thousands of front range homes to increase each month.

Time of Use Metering is simple: Homeowners are billed at higher rates for their electricity during periods when it is used the most. Although the hours and rates vary between the utilities, typically homeowners in Colorado and Wyoming can expect to be charged more for their electricity consumption somewhere between 2 PM and 8 PM. Below is a graphic from Xcel's website demonstrating when electricity rates are higher.

Much like hailing an Uber on New Years Eve, TOU metering is built around simple supply and demand. As most Colorado and Wyoming homeowners are preparing dinner, watching TV, doing laundry, and cleaning dishes during these hours, utility companies are able to charge more per kilowatt of electricity used.

So what can be done to avoid rate hikes? Well, Xcel reccommends, "[trying] to shift appliances away from these hours to the Off-Peak period," or in other words, changing your lifestyle to adapt to their policies.

What's a better way to stabilize your energy bills: by going electricity independent with solar. By owning a solar panel system, you are generating electricity at home, and with net metering programs with Xcel Energy and Black Hills Energy, your utility may end up paying your for excess power you've generated.

Take the first step towards electricity independence and get a free solar quote with Apollo Energy today.


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