Common Questions

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Common Questions

What is the time-of-day rate?

The time-of-day (TOD) rate is an optional rate available to residential customers. Customers who qualify for the rate can take advantage of low-cost electricity by focusing on the “time-of-day” the energy is used. The rate reflects the actual cost to generate the electricity and provides low-cost electricity during “off-peak” energy-times. Various electric-based space heating systems qualify for use with the TOD rate by storing heat and releasing it through appropriate timing and controls.

What do you mean by "off-peak" times?

There are different times throughout the day, and different seasons throughout the year, when the demand for electricity is higher. Nova Scotia Power must be able to produce and distribute enough electricity to meet these high demand "peak" times, but during low-demand or "off-peak" times, there is plenty of generating capacity available. To encourage customers to use the majority of their electricity during "off-peak" times, Nova Scotia Power offers the TOD rate.

How can I use the majority of my power in "off-peak" times?

There are various electric-based space heating systems that qualify for use with the TOD rate because they draw energy during low cost "off-peak" times and store the heat for release later in the day. This is known as thermal storage.

A traditional electric-based space heating system uses power on demand and draws electricity as needed, when needed. An electric-based thermal storage space heating system draws the majority of its energy during "off-peak" times – saving you money.

What rate is in effect at what time?

The time-of-day (TOD) schedule is easy to follow. Power used on weekends, holidays and during nighttime hours (11:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.) is charged at the "off peak" rate (approximately half of the regular residential rate). It is during this "off-peak" time that an ETS heating system will draw power, convert the energy to heat, and store it for controlled release over the course of the day. Your water heater can be controlled to heat during this time as well.

The "mid-peak" period covers daytime power use from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. from March to November and from 12 noon until 4 p.m. in December, January and February. During this time, the cost for electricity is at the regular residential rate, while the nighttime and weekend cost remains at approximately half price.

The "on-peak" (1.437 times the regular residential rate) period is in December, January and February from 7:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon and from 4:00 p.m. until 11:00 p.m. on weekdays only. During these months, energy used during nighttime hours (11:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. ) and on weekends remains at approximately half the regular residential rate.

How can I save money with these rates?

Your electric space heating and hot-water systems account for the majority of the electricity you use, so a significant way to save money is by using electricity at times when the lowest rates are in effect. You can do this automatically by using thermal storage for space heating and controlling your electric water heater. It's easy to cut costs even more by using appliances like your washer, dryer and dishwasher during the "off-peak" period. Optional appliance controls can help you do this automatically. All these things mean savings on your total electricity bill.

How do you know what to bill me?

Qualifying customers will have their regular electric meter replaced with a time-of-day (TOD) meter. A TOD meter records the amount of power used, the time-of-day the usage occurred, and the season that we are in. The TOD meter even keeps track of the holidays when power is approximately half the standard residential rate. The TOD meter measures all activity requiring power and the customer is billed at the cost in effect when the power is used. As an example, a TOD customer doing their laundry on a weekday during the "on-peak" period is paying a premium price for the power they use. The same load of laundry during the "off peak" is at approximately half of the standard residential rate.

What days count as holidays?

  • New Year's Day
  • Good Friday
  • Easter Monday
  • Victoria Day
  • Canada Day
  • Natal Holiday
  • Labour Day
  • Thanksgiving
  • Remembrance Day
  • Christmas Day
  • Boxing Day
  • Heritage Day

How can I qualify for the TOD rate?

In order to qualify for the TOD rate you must have an electric-based space heating system that has the capacity to store heat with appropriate timing and controls in place and approved by Nova Scotia Power.