TIME-OF-DAY RATE PILOT PROGRAM


One of the many benefits of upgrading homes and businesses across Nova Scotia to smart meters is the ability for us to offer customers more choice of rate plans that suit their unique energy needs.

 

On June 22, 2021, we received approval from the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board (“UARB”) to launch a two-year pilot program that will test two new electricity rate plan options – The Time-Of-Use and Critical Peak Rate Plans. Sometimes referred to as Time-Varying-Pricing (“TVP”), the new plans provide an opportunity for customers to save money on their power bill by shifting some of their energy use from peak hours when there is high demand for electricity to off-peak hours when demand is lower.


About the Pilot Program

  • Up to 3500 residential and business customers will be recruited to voluntarily join the pilot program.
  • The pilot will run for two years - from November 1, 2021 to October 31, 2023.
  • Participants will choose one of the two new rate plans that best suits their unique energy needs.
  • Participation is optional and customers can leave the pilot program at any time and switch back to the Standard Rate Plan.

Time-of-Use Plan


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Winter weekdays (November to March) are divided into peak and off-peak hours. Rates are higher during peak hours when demand is high.


  • Save money at home by making small changes to energy use. Consider doing laundry over the weekend, setting the dishwasher to run overnight, or turning down the thermostat during peak hours.
  • Control business costs through energy management. Consider shifting the use of high energy consuming equipment or managing electric heating and cooling to minimize use during peak hours.
  • In the non-winter months (April to October) the price for electricity is less than the standard rate and does not change based on time of day.

This plan is designed for customers who can reduce or shift their energy use away from the two daily peak periods (7-11AM and 5-9PM), Monday to Friday during the winter. Weekends and statutory holidays are excluded, meaning they are off-peak.

Critical Peak Plan


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On winter weekdays, when the electrical grid is at peak capacity, a “Critical Peak Event” may be announced for plan participants, where prices are higher to reflect the higher cost of providing energy during those hours.  

 

Critical Peak Events:

  • Are called between November and March.
  • Occur only on weekdays, not weekends and holidays.
  • Last four hours: 7-11AM or 5-9PM.
  • Are called up to a maximum of 22 times.

 

Participants will be notified by email the day prior and directly before the Critical Peak Event – providing time to adjust energy use. Outside of Peak Events, the price for energy all year is less than the current standard rate.


This plan is designed for customers who can reduce or shift their energy use away from the four-hour Critical Peak Events in the winter.


We currently offer time-of-day rates to a small group of customers with special heating systems like electro thermal storage (ETS). These current time-of-day rates are only available to customers with these heating systems. You can learn more about this program  here.