How discovering your energy persona can help you choose the rate plan that’s right for you

By now, you may have heard about the relatively new rate option called “Ultra-low overnight” rates (coming into effect November 1, 2023). This presents customers with yet another rate option to choose from (along with time-of-use and tiered rates) for strategizing how and when to use energy in the most cost-effective manner. This is good news for customers since it broadens their options for a rate plan that best suits their lifestyle. But, sometimes more options can feel like a burden, lending to even more questions. For example, how do these rate options compare and what kind of lifestyle fits best with each? We’re here to help by illustrating some generalized energy personas to help you ,rdiscover which rate plan is right for you.

Time-of-use rates - For the “daytime nomad”

If you fit the “daytime nomad” persona, then you’re the kind of person/family that is rarely home during the daytime hours from Monday to Friday. For example, you may commute to work, school or daycare daily, or you may have a busy schedule that has you away from home between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. For this reason, you can predict your energy usage to be very low during the day.

On the other hand, this persona also fits someone who tends to consume energy during the evenings, early mornings or weekends - preparing meals the night or weekend before, opting for cold meals like cereal and sandwiches, or sleeping during daytime hours. In general, this persona fits a strategic energy user (someone who intentionally adjusts their energy usage to off-peak hours).

Key characteristics:

  • Away from home (mostly) between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
  • Light daytime energy user
  • Prepares meals / cleans / does laundry during evenings and weekends
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Tiered rates - For the “go-with-the-flow homebody”

If you fit the “go-with-the-flow homebody” persona, then you likely spend the majority of your time at home with moderate to high energy needs for temperature control, technology use, and kitchen appliance use. Your energy usage is not necessarily predictable from one day to the next, but in general most of your consumption takes place during the day. For you, the energy savings come easier through general energy saving practices, regardless of time of day or day of the week. For this reason, you look for opportunities to hang your laundry to dry, light your home with LEDs, use a smart thermostat and make use of energy- efficient appliances.

Key characteristics:

  • Spends a lot of time at home
  • Medium to high energy needs throughout the day
  • Somewhat unpredictable schedule and therefore prefers flexibility for energy usage
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Ultra-low overnight rates - For the “night owl”

If you fit the “night owl” persona, then you have high energy needs late into the night - specifically between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. You may own an electric vehicle that you like to recharge overnight, or you may have other energy consumption needs that take place late at night. The ultra low rates that come with this late-night energy consumption outweigh your need to consume energy during on-peak hours, which fall between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. under the ultra-low overnight rate plan.

Key characteristics:

  • EV owner who would like to recharge overnight
  • High energy consumption between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m.
  • Can avoid/reduce energy usage during on-peak hours (4 p.m. to 9 p.m.)
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Of course, these personas we’ve created are just generalizations, but our hope is that this article can serve as a guidepost when it comes to rate options. At the heart of it, the goal behind these rate options is to provide customers with as much flexibility as possible while providing a framework for strategic energy use. While tiered rates may serve one customer well, ultra-low overnight rates may serve another customer even better. Afterall, we all have different needs, and those needs may also change from one season of life to the next. 

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