Lower Electricity Costs During Summer, if the Timing Is Right


Time-of-use rates is a common approach for electricity usage these days. The rates encourage customers to use less electricity during peak energy-demand periods and shift that high use to times with lower cost. For example, Liberty Utilities residents — locally, the California side of the greater Tahoe Basin — who shift most of their power consumption to between 10:01 p.m. and 10 a.m. during summer months (June 1 through Sept. 30) will pay a lower rate. Winter months have different peak energy hours. To sign up for Liberty’s TOU program, visit tinyurl.com/3wr25kb2.

That said, the Liberty Utilities program is subject to restrictions and availability. A reader recently alerted Moonshine that his request to sign up for TOU rates was put on hold. “To enable your rate change,” stated a Liberty email to the reader earlier this year, “the Liberty electric meter on your home needs to be changed to a compatible type. However, there have been technical challenges registering new meter changes in Liberty’s recently upgraded customer information software.”

There’s also a supply chain challenge — an ongoing issue, said Kurt Althof, a regional communications manager in California for the utility company.


~ AH


ELECTRICAL HUM: Pictured here are crossing power lines: the 625 line, which runs between Kings Beach and Tahoe City, and the 650 line, which runs between Kings Beach and Truckee. Photo by Jared Alden/Moonshine Ink

Why are upgraded electric meters required for time-of-use rate implementation? Would a standard smart meter not work?

Regular residential meters record kilowatt hours consumed by month, whereas residential TOU meters are programmed to record kilowatt hours in multiple time frames and by season so that bills are created based on electricity consumption by time/season as opposed to just by month total.

What’s the current availability of new meters for Liberty Utilities’ time-of-use rates?

We currently have meters in stock now and customers that signed up will be contacted and provided an updated timeline soon. We apologize for any inconvenience.

~ Kurt Althof, Liberty Utilities (California), regional communications manager

Learn more about time-of-use rate plans based on your provider.

Liberty Utilities: tinyurl.com/3wr25kb2

NV Energy: tinyurl.com/y96te9km

PG&E: tinyurl.com/4m3hvst9

Truckee Donner Public Utility District: tinyurl.com/3uvhd6m6


  • Alex Hoeft

    Alex Hoeft joined Moonshine staff in May 2019, happy to return to the world of journalism after a few years in community outreach. She has both her bachelor's and Master's in journalism, from Brigham Young University and University of Nevada, Reno, respectively. When she's not journalism-ing, she's wrangling her toddler or reading a book — or doing both at the same time.

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