COLCHESTER >> Green Mountain Power residential customers have a new option for saving money on their electric bills with the Empower Rate, a pilot program, which provides incentives for reducing energy use at peak times. This program is voluntary and could benefit those customers who are interested in saving money by reducing their energy use for up to ten "critical peak energy days" throughout the year. Customers can sign up at www.greenmountainpower.com or by calling 888-835-4672.
"As Vermont's Energy Company of the future, finding new ways to empower our customers to save money is really important to us," said Kristin Carlson, Green Mountain Power's Chief Communication Executive. "These innovative rate options will reward customers directly for partnering with us to reduce energy a few days each year when the electric system is experiencing extremely high use."
Green Mountain Power has received approval from the Public Service Board to offer two new residential rates that include reduced rates for most days of the year. During other "critical peak days," when energy demand and cost for that power is particularly high, rates for these customers will go up. For customers who are able to reduce their use during those hours, they will save money, but if they find they are unable to reduce use at those times, typical customers on the rate will break even, compared to the standard rate.
"We are excited that we have found a way that customers can save money with very little risk," Carlson continued. "And this is a great way for customers who choose to be more proactive about their energy use to get involved and reduce use during peak days. This strategy will help save money for all customers as we transform our energy future."
When electricity use is very high, more expensive generating sources are needed, and so reducing energy use during peak periods reduces the cost of electricity overall. Customers signing up for Empower rates will be notified the day before a Critical Peak Pricing event, which can occur up to ten times a year between May 1 and Sept. 30 when GMP may hit peak loads. During those Conservation Days, customers would be alerted to the need for a reduction in their energy use.
"I'm really happy that I have a pretty simple way to save money," said Doug Olufsen, a residential customer from Hinesburg. "It won't be hard for me to manage my energy use for a few hours a summer, especially when I know my bills will be lower and others will benefit too."
The two Empower rates are Rate 9 for customers who typically pay the same rate 24-7, and Rate 14 for customers who pay different rates according to the time of day they use energy, but in both cases the rates will be higher during the Conservation Days. Typical customers who are able to reduce use during conservation days have the potential to save up to 4.5 percent annually on Rate 9 and 3.1 percent for customers on Rate 14. Customers must have a smart meter to join and make one-year program commitments each year. For more information visit www.greenmountainpower.com or call 888-835-4672.