28 June 2012

Here comes the heat...

Well, not THAT Heat. But while I think of it, thank you Oklahoma City Thunder for an exciting playoff and finals extended season. It was kind of fun how fans (recent and die-hards) supported our wonderful team.

We are back into those 100˚ days since Tuesday and for the next several days. This is a great time to put SmartHours to the test!

SmartHours pricing with OG&E began at the beginning of the month and runs through the end of September. In a nutshell, we pay 4.5 cents per kWh (instead of 11.3 cents per kWh all of the time for non-enrolled customers) for all of our electricity usage over these four months, with the exception of no more than 30 hours a week—2–7 p.m. Monday–Friday (excluding national holidays). Our SmartHours price may be the low 4.5 cents per kWh; standard 11.3 cents per kWh; medium 23 cents per kWh; or high 46 cents per kWh (see graphic above).

I am notified (via text and/or email) the day before of which price point I may expect for the following day's SmartHours, and plan accordingly. In addition, I have, thus far, received two additional Critical Price Alerts which notify me of an even higher billing rate per kWh within the 2–7 p.m. window. Today's Critical Price Alert was from 4–7 p.m.; yesterday's was from 3–6 p.m. Both times, the rate bumped up to 50 cents per kWh. See the graphic to see how the rate fluctuated through the day (light red line).

In addition to consciously planning extra power usage outside the 2–7 p.m. window, using my thermostat is a tool that regulates our AC usage. Several days ago I tweaked some of my setpoints and edited my schedule. The temperature is still quite comfortable. In addition to setpoints and schedules, there's also an Conservation setting where the thermostat takes my settings and applies my choice between Comfort and Balanced and Savings. As you can see, I keep our setting between comfort and balanced, so it keeps temps a bit cooler than if it were set more toward savings. Again, it is MY option to adjust/modify these settings.

There's already good news for tomorrow, Friday. I've already received my alert that the cost per kWh for 2–7 p.m. tomorrow is the standard 11.3 cents.

I took a look at my OG&E bills from 2010 and 2011 (before SmartHours enrollment) and our June bills were in excess of $500 each time. I look forward to not only a lower total bill but am also excited about how much SmartHours usage will save us. Remember, it was $143.70 last month! Stay tuned for more!

*This is a sponsored post. As always, my thoughts and opinions are my own.

19 June 2012

SmartHours update...

We just received our first bill which includes half of a month of SmartHours pricing. Okay, it's NOT the beginning of the 50+ days of 100˚ temps, but in addition to using 1,814 fewer kilowatt hours this year than last, we also SAVED $143.70 in THIS billing alone SOLELY by taking advantage of SmartHours pricing. I think I already mentioned we are not particularly frugal about our power usage, so this kind of savings is pretty dang special!

I still think I want to do some adjustments to the setpoints and schedules on the thermostat that may yield even more saving. Now THIS is exciting!

To see all of my posts about SmartHours, simply click here.

*This is a sponsored post. As always, my thoughts and opinions are my own.

05 June 2012


Us, 2004
1. Married eight years to my wonderful husband!
2. Great physical therapy with Karen at Mercy Spine.
3. Oklahoma City Thunder's great play in NBA Western Finals.

04 June 2012

SmartHours in effect NOW...

SmartHours pricing plan started on Friday, June 1, and runs until September 30.

I've been looking forward to SmartHours (click here for more info) beginning so I can be excited about how much we'll be saving. On Thursday, I received a text notification alerting me to how much power will cost per kilowatt hour on Friday, between 2 and 7 p.m. The amount was the lowest cost possible, 4.5 cents. Today, I received another text for tomorrow's cost, and it's at the same amount. It will be interesting to see how this adjusts over the summer.

I also received a weekly usage email. It's really convenient having this information at my fingertips in case it's been awhile since checking my online account. It had been so long, I had to reset my password.

To be honest, we've never taken proactive measures to save on our electricity usage. We've been enrolled in 'average billing' for awhile and that averaging kinda eases the pain of summer usage highs against winter usage lows. I'd like thinking I'll set the thermostat differently, do the laundry earlier or later, and such, but even if I don't, I think we'll save just by virtue of being enrolled in the plan.

One comparison I am looking forward to tracking has to do with our plan to empty and unplug the hot tub in July. I suspect its constant running/heating keeps our passive usage average high. Over the past couple of days when Tom has used the hot tub, I did notice a spike in those hours' numbers (see below at 5 p.m.). Oooh, cause and effect!

I plan on going back into my thermostat settings and making some adjustments to better accommodate the SmartHours 2-7 p.m. weekday sweet spot.

Looking forward to that first bill of the summer to see what we've saved compared to last year's unadjusted rates. Stay tuned!

*This is a sponsored post. As always, my thoughts and opinions are my own.