Time-of-Use Billing

Time of Use Billing Application

Try the Time-of-Use Rate Calculator 

What is Time-of-Use Billing?
The idea behind Time-of-Use is simple. Some things cost more, or less, depending on when they are used. Movies cost less if you see them on Tuesday afternoons instead of Saturday nights. Air fares are cheaper when you fly on certain days. The price for electricity is no different. Demand for electricity is the highest during certain times of the day, driving up the price. But the good news is there are alternate hours of the day, called off-peak hours, when demand for electricity is lower, decreasing the price. The better news is residential electric heat customers can save the most with this lower off-peak rate, when enrolled in our Time-of-Use program. 

Under the program, electric rates are lower than standard rates during off-peak hours, and higher than standard rates during peak hours. By managing the use of major appliances (e.g. washing machines, dryers, dishwashers, etc.) from peak to off-peak hours, along with setting your electric heat (if applicable) on a low setting during peak hours, savings can add up*. 

When enrolled in Time of Use, customers pay less for electricity during off-peak hour periods than during peak hour periods. Special electric meters that measure both how much electricity is used and when, are installed at the homes of customers who enroll in Time-of-Use Billing.

Electricity rates have two components: Delivery (the cost to operate and maintain the electric grid), and Supply (the market price of the electric energy itself. Under the Time-of-Use program, customers are billed on-peak and off-peak rates for the Energy Delivery charge, and on and off-peak rates for Supply charges (the Market Price Charge). Participants will receive an annual letter that compares total charges for their usage under the Time-of-Use and standard rates.

What are the peak hours?
The time period for peak hours is 2 p.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. All other hours, weekends and six major holidays per year (New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas) are considered off-peak.

*Will this save money on my bill?
The table below shows the proportion of electricity that must be used during off-peak hours to break even with standard rates for different levels of total monthly usage. For example, a resident enrolled in the Time-of-Use program using 650 kilowatt-hours of electricity per month and shifting 84 percent of their electricity use to off-peak hours will pay the same amount under standard residential electric service and the Time-of-Use program. Shifting more electricity from on-peak to off-peak hours will provide savings as compared to the standard rates, while shifting less than 84 percent will result in higher charges.

Using base delivery rates effective Oct. 1, 2020 and supply rates for the 12 months ending June 2020:

Total Monthly usage: 650 kWh 1000 kWh 1250 kWh 1,500 kWh 1,750 kWh 2,000 kWh
Percent needed to be used during 
off-peak hours to break even
84% 83% 83% 82% 82% 82%

How do I sign up?
Applications for this program will resume Sept. 2, 2021. 

Can I sign up for a short time and then switch back to a standard rate?
Customers must sign on for a minimum of one year.

What is the difference between the two rates?
The chart below compares on- and off-peak charges under the Time-of-Use program, and standard residential electric charges: 

Billing Line Items Time-of-Use Charges Standard Residential Charges
Customer Charge
Energy Delivery charge, per kWh  
On-peak energy delivery charge, per kWh
Off-peak energy delivery charge, per kWh
Base MFC Administration Charge
Base MFC Supply Charge
Electric Bill Credit
Market Price Charges  
Market supply charges
On-peak market price charge
Reflects hourly market
commodity prices for on-peak period
Off-peak market price charge
Reflects hourly market
commodity prices for off-peak period

All other billing charges that apply to both standard and Time-of-Use rates are the same.

How does Central Hudson calculate the peak and off-peak supply charges?
Supply rates are determined as the sum of commodity, capacity and other supply-related costs, with peak and off-peak supply charges reflecting hourly commodity prices applied to load research data for the peak and off-peak time periods. These rates change each month as opposed to delivery rates which are stable and set through regulatory procedures with New York State.

Does this apply to non-residential customers?
Large electric-usage customers are required to participate in the Company’s hourly pricing program when purchasing supply from Central Hudson, which is different than time-of-use billing. Medium size commercial and industrial customers can opt for the hourly pricing program.

Click here for information on the previous Time-of-Use Billing program available before Dec. 1, 2017 (information applicable only to customers enrolled before Dec. 1, 2017).