Do the same things and still save money

Joe Energy User:  “So I know I should be better about turning off the lights and using less electricity, but what’s that really going to save me?  A few dollars here and there?”

Studies have shown that you are three times as likely to choose the status quo over changing your behavior to a new product.  This change in behavior occurs only when you can see a direct benefit.

In the U.S., the average retail price of electricity is 11.51 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh).  However, it’s hard for us to translate this into dollars and cents based on our own personal energy demand and consumption.  To put this another way, according to the EIA, the average residential monthly electricity bill in the U.S. is around $105.    While the average seems reasonable, the range is quite wide and growing wider as providers have increased the complexity of their contracts and as the demand and cost of energy increase.

A common belief is that changing our daily consumption habits will save us just a few dollars at most.  However, by shifting our energy usage to off-peak periods we can significantly lower our energy bill.

Under some common pricing and usage assumptions, a household that does a load of wash every day can save over $300 a year by running the washer and dryer during off-peak periods.

In total, if the average family of five can shift some discretionary usage to off-peak periods, we can reduce our annual electricity bill by approximately $1,000.

This is just for residential consumers.  Businesses, especially data centers, can realize significant savings with energy shifting.  According to the EPA, U.S. data centers consume over 60 billion kilowatt-hours of power a year.  That represents a cost of over $5 billion.  It follows that those responsible for operating data centers are already looking to optimize their energy consumption and Gartner predicts that 60% of these organizations will have implemented some form of data center power management solution by 2014.

Changing behavior starts with awareness of possibilities.  At Genability we are working on creating awareness for residential consumers and businesses alike that will in turn enable them to change their energy consumption behavior.

Read more on how Oklahoma Gas & Electric’s customers are benefiting from Time of Use tariff schedules.

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