Virtually all commercial electric rate structures (for businesses, large and small) have an incentive to shift electricity usage to off-peak hours (4-6 PM, sometimes 9-5 PM, depending on the utility). These “time-of-use” rates are roughly half the going rate for electricity during off-peak hours and on weekends. That’s 50% off! W.O.W.
Want to cut your power bill in half? Contact your electricity provider to see if they offer residential time of use rates. Yes? Sign me up! It doesn’t cost you a penny to try. There are lots of things you can do right away: wash dishes or clothes in the evenings and on the weekends, and ditto with all other major appliances (water heater, stove, even the air conditioning if your home has a high thermal mass ~ details in 1001 Energy Tips.)
If it’s too much of a hassle to off-peak your lifestyle, you can purchase the equivalent of a giant lithium battery and set it up to charge on off-peak hours, then run the house on battery power during the day. If you’re on a time of use rates, you automatically cut your utility bill in half. If you save $150 a month, a new $3000 “emergency power backup” pays for itself in 20 months ~ after which time you’re literally saving $150 a month. These are the same lithium batteries they have in electric cars, which can last for 10 years or more! (After which they’re recyclable. Lithium is a rare metal, and it should definitely be recycled.)
Tesla has a very elegant-looking system called the power wall. Way cool!
If you plan to get solar panels for your house one day, this same battery can be used to store solar power. You’ll reduce your utility bills even more – maybe even get off the grid entirely. If you have solar on a second home, you can sell the power back to the utility company when you’re not in the house. (Save the solar energy in your battery pack – and sell it at peak hour rates!)