On April 1, 2022, Peak Savers became the default rate option for all of our consumer-members on monthly residential accounts who had not requested a Time of Use rate instead. That means nearly 10,000 of our meters are now being billed on Peak Savers.
With the summer peak months just around the corner, we wanted to provide additional information to help consumer-members on the Peak Savers rate get ready to maximize their savings.
What's Different About the Peak Savers Rate?
The Peak Savers rate features an energy charge of about 10.2 cents per kilowatt hour, which is slightly lower than the old rate. However, in the four summer months of June, July, August and September, there is an additional component called a Peak Charge.
The Peak Charge is $2 per kilowatt used during your peak hour (one hour of highest use) for the month. The peak hour used as the basis for the charge can only occur between 3 and 8 p.m. on Heartland-declared Peak Days, which will only occur on non-holiday weekdays during the summer.
What is a Peak Day?
Heartland declares a Peak Day when we determine, in conjunction with our power supplier, that the next day has a strong possibility of containing the one hour of highest usage for the year for our entire electric system.
It’s critical to control energy use during potential peak times because more than half of our energy costs for the year are based on our one-hour summer peak. The more we can do to lower usage during this time, the better we are able to keep costs down for all of our consumer-members.
How Will I Be Notified of Peak Days?
We highly recommend signing up for our free SmartHub service, available online and on your smartphone. Those who are enrolled in SmartHub will receive an email or text notification the afternoon before a forecasted Peak Day advising them that they can save money on their bills by reducing usage from 3 to 8 p.m. the next day. You can add as many contacts to receive notifications as you'd like (Visit our Peak Savers page for instructions).
If you are not enrolled in SmartHub and either cannot enroll or do not wish to do so, you are welcome to call our office. Each summer weekday we will place an automated message on our phone system letting callers know whether a Peak Day has been declared.
Alternatively, you can simply control your usage from 3 to 8 p.m. on any summer weekday where temperatures are expected to reach 90 degrees or higher.
How Can I Save Money on My Bill?
The average residential consumer-member can expect a Peak Charge of less than $11 for each of the four summer months, but the charge will vary based on how much energy you use during each month’s one-hour peak.
The key to keeping your peak charge as low as possible is spreading out your usage on Peak Days between 3 and 8 p.m. so you’re not drawing a lot of kilowatts at once.
For example, you can load your electric clothes dryer and dishwasher but wait to run them until after 8 p.m.; or wait until after 8 to run your pool pump. You can find more tips on how to save during the peak on our Energy Use Basics page.
What Will My Bills Look Like in the Summer?
See below for an example of the charges you can expect to see on your summer bills.
- The Energy Charge is approximately 10.2 cents per kilowatt hour.
- The Service Availability Charge is $39 per month and covers fixed costs such as poles, wires, and transformers, as well as our staff members.
- The Power Cost Adjustment reflects month-to-month changes in the cost of wholesale electricity.
- The Property Tax Adjustment helps us fairly allocate the cost of property taxes.
- Through Operation Round Up, consumer-members’ bills are rounded up to the nearest whole dollar and the difference is pooled into a fund for distribution to non-profit organizations that promote the health and well-being of eastern Kansans.
- The Peak Charge is $2 per kilowatt used during your one hour of highest usage during the month. Lower your peak usage and you can save money on your bill.