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Peak and Off-Peak Electric Hours by State

Written By: Mitchell Terpstra
Reviewed By:

Last Updated: 07/08/2024

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Key Takeaways

  • Understanding peak and off-peak hours for your state can help you manage your energy usage and reduce your electricity bill by shifting high-energy activities to off-peak times.
  • Utilizing tips like operating high-energy appliances during off-peak hours, investing in smart devices, and adjusting thermostats can lead to significant cost savings.
  • Time of Use (TOU) plans offer lower rates during off-peak hours and benefit those who can adjust their energy consumption based on the time of day. ElectricityRates.com can help you find the best energy plans tailored to your needs.

Electricity usage and billing for your state can vary significantly depending on the time of day, which is categorized into peak and off-peak hours.

Understanding these periods can help you manage your energy usage more effectively and potentially reduce your electricity bill.

Understanding Peak and Off-Peak Hours

It's all about demand. Peak Hours refer to times when the demand for electricity is highest. Typically, this is during the middle of the day and early evening. Due to the higher demand, electricity is more expensive during these hours. In Texas, for example, peak hours often occur from early afternoon until the evening (approximately 1 PM to 5 PM), depending on the time of year and specific location.

Off-peak hours are when the demand for electricity drops, and thus, the cost is lower. This usually includes nighttime and early morning hours. For instance, in Texas, off-peak hours might start from late evening until early morning (around 9 PM to 5 AM).

Impact on Electricity Usage and Bills

Electricity rates during peak hours can be significantly higher compared to off-peak hours. By understanding these variations, consumers can shift their high-energy usage activities to off-peak times, thereby reducing their overall energy costs.

Tips to Manage Usage

Shift Usage: Operate washing machines, dishwashers, and other high-energy appliances during off-peak hours.

Energy Monitoring: Invest in smart devices that help track and manage your energy usage more efficiently.

Thermostat Adjustment: Utilize programmable thermostats to increase or decrease heating and cooling during off-peak hours.

Time of Use Plans (TOU)

Many energy providers offer Time of Use (TOU) plans that provide lower rates during off-peak hours and higher rates during peak hours. These plans are suitable for consumers who can adjust their energy consumption based on the time of day.

Utility companies like to offer TOU plans to incentivize consumers to use energy during off-peak hours. This is because they are worried about putting too much stress on the electrical grid during times of high demand. Also, if demand ever exceeds the current electrical supply, it's on the utility company to buy excess electricity from elsewhere or produce additional electricity in advance to prepare for that high demand.

Finding Local Peak and Off-Peak Hours

To find specific peak and off-peak hours for your area in your state, you should first check with your local utility provider or energy company. They can provide the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding time-of-use rates and help you decide if a TOU plan is right for you.

The chart below, however, will give you a rough idea of Peak and Off-Peak Hours for the different time zones in the U.S. There are two charts, one for summer and one for winter, as the change in weather and daylight hours affects human behavior and electricity demand.

Summer Peak / Off-Peak Hours

Winter Peak / Off-Peak Hours

By strategically managing your electricity usage according to peak and off-peak schedules, you can save on costs and contribute to reducing the overall demand on the power grid during high usage times, which is beneficial for environmental sustainability.

Now Let's Talk About Finding Your Peak Plan

Using an energy-plan comparison site like ElectricityRates.com can help you find the best energy plans tailored to your household or small business needs in your state.

By comparing different plans, you can select the one that offers the most favorable rates and terms based on your specific usage patterns.

Our resources provide a convenient and efficient way to explore various energy options, ensuring you can make an informed decision to optimize your electricity costs.

Whether you’re looking to take advantage of off-peak rates or find a Time of Use plan that suits your lifestyle, ElectricityRates.com offers a comprehensive platform to help you navigate the complexities of your local energy market.