PHOENIX – A demand-based rate plan, known as APS’s Combined Advantage
plan, has proven popular and successful for many APS residential customers. It
gives them more options to control their bill and save money. Today, APS has
120,000 residential customers using this plan, more than any other utility in
With more than three decades of experience with customers on the rate
plan, APS has seen customers save on their monthly energy bills and reduce
their peak usage during on-peak hours, when they are using the most energy and
costs for electricity are highest. Customers can save on demand rates with
small changes in how and when they use energy. It is important to understand
that the peak usage charge isn’t an add-on to the existing bill or an increase
in rates. Rather, it is just a different way to break down a bill’s components.
“My family saves money on the Combined Advantage plan,” APS customer
Penny said in a testimonial. “We have our pool pump set to clean at night, and
I do the dishes and laundry in the morning or later in the evening. It’s easy
to manage; even our three kids do it with no problem. After a while, it just
becomes natural to use the appliances at different times in the day.”
Those benefits are among the reasons why APS is requesting in its 2016
rate review to expand demand-based plans to most residential customers.
Three of the four proposed residential rate options include a peak usage
“Demand-based rate plans work for our customers,” said Stacy
Derstine, Vice President of Customer Service and Chief Customer Officer for
APS. “Our current demand rate plan continues to grow and has increased 33
percent in the past six years. Demand rates offer customers more ways to manage
their energy use and save money.”
Here are five things to know about demand rates:
can save money. In 2013 and 2014, APS
studied 977 customers who switched to the current demand rate plan and
stayed on it for at least one year, and 90 percent saved money on their summer
bills. More than half saved an average of $49 monthly. Customers who shift
their energy use to off-peak hours and stagger the use of major appliances
during on-peak hours can reduce peak usage and lower their bills.
price customers pay for energy is lower. To accommodate the peak usage
charge as part of a customer’s bill, APS is reducing the price for each
kilowatt-hour of energy used. For example, customers on APS’s current
demand-based rate pay less for energy in the summer (8.9 cents/kWh on-peak)
compared to the most popular time-of-use rate plan (24.5 cents/kWh on-peak).
rates unlock new home technologies. While customers can save with demand
rates by making small changes in how and when they use energy, they also can
increase savings by adopting technology that cuts peak usage even more.
Peak-reducing technologies range from programmable thermostats and load
controllers to high-efficiency HVAC systems and pool pumps, west-facing solar
panels, advanced solar inverters and energy storage paired with rooftop solar
rates are understandable. Peak
usage is averaged over 60 minutes, starting at the top of each hour and
only during on-peak hours, noon-7 p.m. on weekdays. Customers do not have to
worry about any one moment of energy use. In the rate review filing, APS is
requesting to add two off-peak hours and move
the on-peak period to 3-8 p.m. on weekdays because the summer peak time is
moving later in the day. This change will help customers save with more hours
of lower-priced energy.
Customers can find their home’s peak
usage number by accessing their account at aps.com or on the APS mobile app. A
customer’s peak usage number and total energy usage are typically updated
within 24 hours for each day.
rates encourage customers to reduce their peak usage. In Arizona, the
highest energy usage happens in the late afternoon and early evening, when air
conditioners are running and people are coming home from work and school. Lowering
peak usage during these hours can help avoid costs for higher-priced energy
and infrastructure needed to meet the demand, creating savings for everyone in
the long term—a win-win for customers and the utility.
APS serves about 2.7 million people in 11 of
Arizona’s 15 counties, and is the Southwest’s foremost producer of clean, safe
and reliable electricity. Using a balanced energy mix that is nearly 50 percent
carbon-free, APS has one of the country’s most substantial renewable energy
portfolios, and owns and operates the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station,
the country’s top power producer and largest producer of carbon-free energy.
The company is also a proven leader in introducing technology and services that
offer customers choice and control over their energy consumption. With
headquarters in Phoenix, APS is the principal subsidiary of Pinnacle West Capital
Corp. (NYSE: PNW).