Power Smart Pricing Customers Cut Costs Thanks to Low Wholesale Electricity PricesAugust 17, 2009
Households across Illinois are looking for ways to cut costs, and thousands of Ameren Illinois Utilities customers have found a smart way save on electricity.
More than 5,000 households have signed up for the Power Smart Pricing program, an hourly electricity pricing option offered by the Ameren Illinois Utilities. The program allows customers to pay lower prices for electricity during off-peak hours, such as evenings, nights and weekends. This means that participants can cut costs by being smart about both how much electricity they use and when they use it.
Since Power Smart Pricing launched in early 2007, participants have saved an average of 13 percent compared with what they would have paid on the standard fixed rate (based on billing results for May 2007 through May 2009). The prices the Ameren Illinois Utilities charge for delivering electricity are the same no matter what electric power supply option is selected by a customer.
Power Smart Pricing participants pay hourly electricity prices that are set in the regional wholesale market, and therefore savings are not guaranteed. However, the downturn in the global economy has reduced demand for electricity, and wholesale electricity prices have fallen significantly. Power Smart Pricing customers have benefited from the drop in wholesale prices. During 2009, participants have saved an average of 27 percent on their electricity bills.
How it Works
Under the standard residential rate, electricity prices are the same no matter what time of day customers use it. Power Smart Pricing is designed to benefit households, the environment and the electrical system by giving residential customers access to hourly, wholesale electricity prices. Hourly prices go up and down throughout the day along with demand for electricity. Most of the time, the hourly price is lower than the standard utility fixed price. By shifting some of their electricity usage to those hours when demand is lower, Power Smart Pricing participants can increase their savings while they help to trim peak demand for electricity. This reduces the need to operate or build additional power plants, and reduces strain on the electrical infrastructure.
When customers enroll in Power Smart Pricing, the Ameren Illinois Utilities continue to deliver their power, respond to service calls and issue bills. Participants receive additional support from CNT Energy, an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to helping Illinois residents save energy and money. Power Smart Pricing uses day-ahead hourly prices, meaning that the prices for each day are set on the previous evening. Program participants can check prices in online or by phone and plan their energy saving actions.
For more information go to www.powersmartpricing.org or call CNT Energy at 1-877-655-6028.