Beginning November 1, you’ll notice changes to your BWL electric bill. All residential electric customers were updated to a time of use calculation to help you better manage your energy usage. The change to 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.
Why is BWL changing to Time of Use rates?
Energy is at its most expensive in peak demand, like on a hot summer day, and if not managed, can put a strain on the grid. It’s also when the cost to generate electricity is at its highest.
Time of use allows you to better manage your costs and consumption, while also having a positive impact on the environment.
Standard Residential Electric Service - RES1
All residential electric customers on the standard RES1 rate utilize a time of use calculation with an off-peak rate of $0.1314 per kilowatt-hour (kWh), and $0.1445 per kWh during on-peak hours year-round. Note rates don't change in the summer months versus the winter months.
Off-Peak Savers Rate - RESTOU
BWL will also continue offering its “Off-Peak Savers Rate” (RESTOU) to residential electric customers who want to take a more active approach and are looking for extra savings by shifting their energy usage to off-peak times. To sign up for the RESTOU rate, please contact our Customer Service Department at 517-702-6006 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
On-Peak and Off-Peak Hours
Both time of use calculations, RES1 and RESTOU, will see on-peak hours from 1pm-8pm Monday through Friday. Off-peak hours will include 8pm-1pm, recognized holidays, and on Saturdays and Sundays.
Beginning in September, customers saw a small static $0.88 “Low-Income Energy Assist Fund (LIEAF)" surcharge for electricity on their monthly BWL bills, which goes into a statewide fund to help eligible customers with more financial assistance if they’re struggling. This LIEAF money will be important as BWL has opted into PA95 ending the winter heating season shut-off moratorium, meaning electric shut-offs due to non-pay will continue year-round. BWL customers at risk of shut-off are eligible for Federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and Michigan Energy Assistance Program (MEAP) funding assistance, and may also qualify for a winter protection payment plan. Additionally, seniors 65 and older and active military and their families are protected from electric shutoffs during the heating season. Contact 211 for payment assistance information, or the BWL to inquire about a payment plan.
Frequently Asked Questions
Please take a look at our FAQ section below, which answers our most commonly asked questions about time of use.
No further action is needed by you. On November 1, your Standard Residential Electric Service Rate - RES1 will automatically be updated to calculate using time of use. If you would like to take more of an active role in your energy consumption and money savings, you have the option to opt into the Off-Peak Savers Rate - RESTOU and can do so by contacting our Customer Service Department at 517-702-6006 or email email@example.com.
Effective November 1, BWL Board of Commissioners approved rate increases for electric, water, steam and chilled water services. As a result, and depending on your billing cycle, your bill will be calculated with current (2022) rates effective through October 31, and new (2023) rates becoming effective November 1.
What is proration?
Prorated billing simply means that your bill is calculated based on the cost per day, or the proportion of the monthly service that has been used. Essentially, prorated billing ensures that customers are correctly charged when there are rate increases, service changes, or partial billings.
Why are there multiple line items for the same charges on my bill?
Any time a change is made to the rate or billing period, the bill is prorated to correspond with the change. Depending on when your meter is read and your billing cycle, consumption will be charged with its corresponding rate due to the November 1 effective date of the new rates.
Time of use is about shifting your energy use to off-peak times when the cost to use and produce energy is cheaper. Our on-peak times are from 1pm-8pm. During this time, try to avoid using household items like your dishwasher, dryer, washing machine and other large appliances for the most cost savings. Shift your large appliance needs to 8pm-1pm.
The change to 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 beginning November 1. For example, the monthly financial impact of this increase for an average residential customer (750 kWh) would be approximately $5.57, and approximately $3.71 for an average residential water customer (5 CCF).
The weekends, Saturday and Sunday, are always "off-peak" meaning you will be charged the off-peak rate at all hours of the day.
There are six NERC/MISO Off-Peak Holidays applicable to time of use, those include: New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. If any of these holidays fall on a Sunday, the following Monday will be considered Off-Peak. Otherwise, the remaining holidays that fall on weekdays are treated as normal with "on-peak" hours that fall 1-8pm and "off-peak" hours that fall 8-1pm.
Customers can track their service consumption after signing up and logging into their Customer Self Service Portal. Once logged in, click the “Services & usage” tab found on the left side of the screen. On this page, customers are able to choose one of their services (electric or water) from the drop-down menu. Consumption history can be seen for a full year on the “Usage” tab or broken down by daily and hourly consumption under the “Daily Usage” tab. Customers are able to track kilowatt hour (kWh) for electric service and cubic feet (CF) for water service on these graphs for services provided by BWL.