Impact of shifting certain appliances


High impact

  • Electric heat. Most heating needs are at night when it is coldest. Portable space heaters should be used as little as possible during on-peak hours.
  • Electric water heater. You can install a timer that limits water heating to off-peak hours. Most tanks store enough hot water for on-peak use.
  • Electrically heated spa, hot tub or pool. You can install a timer that limits hot tub, spa or pool heating to off-peak hours.
  • Other large users of electricity. You can shift electric welding equipment, commercial painting equipment, high-intensity industrial lighting and other large electricity users to off-peak hours.

Moderate impact

  • Central air conditioner. Most air conditioning is used on-peak (high-cost times). Limit use during on-peak hours and cool during off-peak hours.
  • Dehumidifier, outdoor lights, pumps. Install plug-in or hard-wired timers on outdoor lights, pumps, dehumidifiers and other large appliances.
  • Electric clothes dryer. Do laundry during off-peak hours.
  • Electric range. Bake and cook during off-peak hours.

Low/no impact

  • Household lighting
  • TV, computer, electronics
  • Refrigerators and freezers
  • Small appliances
  • Clothes washer (unless you have an electric water heater)
  • Gas heat
  • Gas water heater
  • Microwave oven

Note: Appliances that consume the same amount of electricity day or night cost slightly less on Time-of-Use.

How to tell if you have a gas or electric water heater

Gas Water Heater Gas water heater

Gas water heaters have a large exhaust pipe (metal or plastic) on top of the unit going from the heater to a chimney or out the side of the house.

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Electric Water Heater Electric water heater

Electric water heaters do not have an exhaust pipe — just small water pipes running into the top of the unit.

More energy-saving tips