About the Smart Usage Plan

Delivery Costs are lower most hours of the day, increasing between 4pm-6pm weekdays.

correct peak and off peak

Supply Costs change hourly depending on market prices. Prices tend to be higher during evenings.

supply market prices

For people in the pilot group of NYSEG customers who live in the grid upgrade area, The Smart Usage Plan provides a financial incentive to shift electricity use off of peak times. If you opt-in to the Smart Usage Plan your rates will be higher during peak times and lower at off-peak times. The plan has two parts with different peak times. Supply peak times vary each day while Delivery Peak times are 4pm-6pm weekdays excluding holidays. Make sure to sign up for Day-Ahead-Market price spike alerts that notify you when electricity supply prices will go above $0.12/kwh. 

See "Navigating Smart Usage Plan" for how to set up alerts. 

See Nitty-Gritty Details page for more details on how the Smart Usage Plan is structured.

Rush Hour on the Electricity Lines

Did you know that electricity prices change hour by hour? It is often more expensive during “rush hour” or “peak” times on the electrical grid, when lots of people want to use electricity at the same time. This often happens on hot summer days when many people crank their Air Conditioners at the same time and on cold winter days when turn up the heat in the mornings and evenings. The higher the demand for electricity, the more it costs the utility to buy the electricity from the generators. Also, that electricity generated at peak times typically comes from fossil fuel burning plants because they can be ramped-up more quickly than renewable energy sources like solar or wind power. The Smart Usage Plan is an effort to give customers an incentive to cut back our grid’s use of fossil fuels and save money as a customer.

Should I sign Up?

Maybe. If you can arrange your life to shift energy use to more off-peak times then the Smart Usage Plan may benefit you. The biggest electricity users are central air conditioning and electric water heaters. If you can use these and use other appliances (run the dishwasher, do laundry, charge electronics,and program your thermostat to run during off-peak times) then you may save money. These lifestyle changes will work for some people and not for others.  You can log into your account on www.nyseg.com to view the  Smart Usage Plan Analyzer on Energy Manager to see an estimate of what your previous months of electric bills would have been if you were on the plan. Make sure to take note of the number of months being used to estimate your bill. Take into consideration that you use electricity differently in different seasons when using the analyzer to estimate savings on your future electricity bill. If you are looking at the last six months of cold weather to predict what your next six warmer months might look like, the estimations might be misleading. Ideally, the analyser will be looking at the last 12 months of your usage to make the estimate of the next 12 months. 

Also, supply prices can spike unexpectedly so it is essential to set up price alerts that notify you when the supply price will exceed $0.12/ kwh.

You can also check out our tutorial on how to analyze your own hourly and daily electricity usage patterns under My Usage on Energy Manager, where to find listings of the Day Ahead Supply prices, and calculate for yourself if you think the plan is a good fit. (Stay tuned, this page is coming soon).

How Do I Sign Up?

1) Log in to your account on  NYSEG.com, 

2) Click on the  Energy Manager icon, energy manager icon

3) Click on My Usage in the tabs along the top of the page

4) Select Smart Usage Plan from the drop-down menu

5) Review the material, and if you determine its right for you, Click on Enroll in Smart Usage Plan.

6) Make sure to set up alerts for supply price spikes.

You will be prompted to set up alerts when you enroll in the plan, and you can also set them up by clicking on Preferences in the top tab bar, and selecting Set Up Notifications. Click the box next to Day-Ahead-Market Supply from the options.

See the Smart Usage Plan web tutorial for more information.

Smart Usage Plan and Solar PanelsSolar panel

If you have solar panels on your home or any Net Metering agreement with NYSEG, consider carefully if it is in your best interest to sign up for the Smart Usage Plan. Many people with home solar are locked into a good deal already when they are reimbursed for the energy they deliver to the grid. Opting into the Smart Usage Plan will permanently change your net metering agreement with NYSEG, placing you into a new agreement that is less advantageous for you.  To limit the confusion around this issue, NYSEG has prevented people with this type of Net Metering agreements from signing up for the Smart Usage Plan. You can call Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County and talk to an Energy Educator if you would like to know more about this. (607)272-2292

Why Does This Matter?

Reducing our energy use during peak times is a good idea for many reasons – it reduces our greenhouse gas footprint and can save us money. It also helps the electric grid be more efficient, prevent the building of expensive new power plants, and reduce the risk of blackouts or brownouts. Whether or not we opt in to the Smart Usage Plan, we can all try to avoid peak times and be more conscious of how much energy we are using and when we are using it. If we all think a little more about this we can have a big impact!

Click  here to download our new  Smart Usage Plan Flyer.

Last updated July 26, 2019