OKLAHOMA CITY — This summer OG&E is offering a chance to save money on your monthly utility bill. The new program is called “Smart Hours” and OG&E is asking customers to sign up. They ask participants to use less electricity during the peak usage hours from 2 to 7 p.m. weekdays during the summer months; June, July, August and September.
In exchange OG&E is offering a much lower rate during the other 19 hours of the day and on holidays and weekends.
You will pay approximately 4.5 cents per kWh; that’s less than half the normal rate of approximately 11.3 cents per kWh.
OG&E Spokesperson Kathleen O’Shea said, “Between the hours of 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. in the summer is when your electricity costs the most because that’s when there’s the highest demand. From June to September, if you’re on “Smart Hours,” you’re paying a lot less for those 19 hours that are outside the peak period.”
OG&E suggests running the dishwasher and clothes washer before 2 p.m. or after 7 p.m. They say you will save electricity if you turn off the lights and turn up the thermostat a few degrees during those peak usage hours, 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. during the work week.
“If you can shift some of your use of electricity during those hours to all the other hours when it’s a lot cheaper, you can save money,” O’Shea said. “The trick is if you use your electricity during the peak period when we have the highest demand, you could be paying anywhere from 4 cents all the way up to 46 cents depending on the demand. It will motivate customers to use electricity outside of peak hours. We will tell you what the price is going to be during the peak period the next day.”
OG&E estimates the average “Smart Hours” customer will save $200 this summer. Shifting energy usage could save you as much as $100 per month.
OG&E will provide a FREE programmable thermostat for each zone of your house for customers who sign up to participate and they install it for free.
O’Shea says “The thermostat is communicating with the smart meter at your house to know how much the electricity is going to cost you at that particular time.”
If you’re asking “What’s the catch,” OG&E says they would like Oklahomans to use less electricity and reduce our carbon footprint.
O’Shea said, “We want to make it to the year 2020 without having to build additional power plants fueled by fossil fuels.”
OG&E is so confident that they will save your family money that they are offering a “best bill guarantee.”
If you sign up for “Smart Hours” and still end up with a higher utility bill, OG&E will pay you the difference between the normal rates and “Smart Hours” rate.
The website offers ways to calculate your current usage and savings estimates.