Another Utility Forces All Customers onto Controversial Time-of-Use (TOU) Rates

By B.N. Frank

“Time of Use” (TOU) and “Demand Response” energy programs are only beneficial to consumers who can modify their behavior to take advantage of lower energy prices during non-peak hours, hence most consumers are NOT signing up for them.  Perhaps that’s why some U.S. utility companies have started forcing their consumers onto these programs, most recently in Michigan.

From WILX:

BWL changes to time of use rates for all utility customers

By WILX News 10

LANSING, Mich. (WILX) – The Lansing Board of Water & Light (BWL) changed its customers’ bills to time of use rates, effective Nov. 1.

All residential electric customers currently on the standard residential electric service (RES1) rate will update to time of use with an off-peak rate of $0.1314 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) and $0.1445 per kWh during on-peak hours year-round.

BWL said the change to the time of use rates will not increase an average residential customer’s electric bill. However, BWL residential and commercial customers for all utilities will see a rate increase in November.

“Adopting time of use rates has become an industry best practice across the country and provides an easy way for our customers to take a hands-on approach to reducing energy consumption during peak demand,” said BWL General Manager Dick Peffley. “Energy during peak demand is the most expensive to produce and causes the most strain on the grid. By moving your energy usage to mornings, evenings and weekends, together we can reduce our environmental impact while saving money.”

Time of use for both rates will see on-peak hours from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday. Off-peak hours will include 8 p.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday, weekends and on recognized holidays.

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Rate increases for each utility will be as follows:

  • Average Electric Rate Increase: 2.05%
  • Residential: 4.5% increase
  • This will result in a financial impact per month for a 750 kWh usage customer of $5.57
  • Average Water Rate Increase: 9.5%
  • Residential: 9.3% increase
  • This will result in a financial impact per month for a 5 CCF usage customer of $3.71
  • Steam rate increase: 9.95% (mostly commercial customers)
  • Chilled Water rate increase: 4% (all commercial customers)

The rate increase for 2023 will result in an increase of $5.9 million for electric, $4.7 million for water, $1.1 million for steam and $200,000 for chilled water. The increased revenue will contribute to BWL’s $90 million capital improvement budget that reinvests in infrastructure, such as substation upgrades and aging water main replacements.

BWL will also continue offering its optional “Off-Peak Savers Rate (RESTOU)” to residential electric customers who want to take a more active approach to energy savings by shifting their energy usage to off-peak times. Customers can register by contacting BWL’s Customer Service Department at 517-702-6006 or emailing

The BWL has approximately 100,000 electric customers, 58,000 water customers, 155 steam customers and 19 chilled water customers. For more information on the billing changes, visit the utility’s website.

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Copyright 2023 WILX. All rights reserved.

TOU and “Demand Response” programs are promoted along with equally (if not more) controversial utility “smart” meters.  Proponents insist that “smart” meters are also beneficial to consumers as well as essential for “energy efficiency” though reports say otherwise (see 1, 2, 3, 4).

Opposition to “smart” meters has been worldwide since they first started being deployed (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5).  American opposition to all of them – electric, gas, and water – has been increasing for over a decade, even inspiring a documentary film.  Ongoing issues associated with these horrible devices include

Despite all of the above, utility providers continue to force “smart” meters on consumers (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) so they can remotely control and/or ration utility use (see 1, 2) and collect consumer usage data to sell and/or share with 3rd parties (see 1, 2).  Adding insult to injury, consumers who are permitted to “opt-out” of “smart” meters are often required to pay expensive fees as well as accept meters that aren’t as safe as traditional analog meters.

If you oppose “smart” meters, Children’s Health Defense has made it easy to contact your lawmakers and ask them to support utility meter choice legislation.  Click here to learn more.

Activist Post reports regularly about “smart” meters and other privacy-invasive and unsafe technologies.  For more information, visit our archives and the following websites:

Top image: Pixabay

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