Monday, November 09, 2015

Peak Pricing

I remember when peak time electricity pricing was all the rage, especially among energy economists, though too often their plans were too cunning by half. Um, no, I don't want to have to check the price of electricity every 15 minutes before making my rational informed decision about which appliances to turn on. Somehow these cunning plans just seemed to be an excuse to raise rates and gouge unsuspecting consumers. Amazing how that works. But a very simple system - one price during the day and then, say, free at night, makes sense in some areas (all of this depends on demand and generating capacity throughout the day).
DALLAS — In Texas, wind farms are generating so much energy that some utilities are giving power away.

Briana Lamb, an elementary school teacher, waits until her watch strikes 9 p.m. to run her washing machine and dishwasher. It costs her nothing until 6 a.m. Kayleen Willard, a cosmetologist, unplugs appliances when she goes to work in the morning. By 9 p.m., she has them plugged back in.