Nitty-Gritty Details of the Smart Usage Plan

Everyone's Electricity Bill Has Two Parts

Your electricity bill is split into two categories: Supply charges and Delivery charges.

Delivery Charges are the cost of delivering the electricity through the grid to your home or business. NYSEG is responsible for installing and maintaining all this essential infrastructure and they charge everyone a fee for using it, even if you get your supply from an ESCO (Energy Supply Company). The delivery charge rate only changes if NYSEG is granted approval by the Public Service Commission.

Supply Charges are what you pay for the energy purchased through the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) for you by NYSEG or an Energy Supply Company (ESCO). If you use NYSEG as your supplier, your supply rate changes every hour of every day depending on the Day-Ahead-Market. If you purchase from an ESCO, your supply rate is based on the terms you've agreed to with that supplier.*

Two Different Parts of the Smart Usage Plan


Standard Plan- The Delivery Charge on the Standard Rate is $0.04/kWh every hour of the day, all week long.

Smart Usage Plan- If you choose the Smart Usage Plan, weekdays between 4 pm-6 pm, the delivery charge will be $0.18/kWh. The Delivery Charge for every other hour of the week, including holidays, will go down to $0.03/kWh**.


If you choose NYSEG as your supplier, the supply rates fluctuate every day regardless of which plan you choose.

Standard Plan- If you stay on the Standard Plan, for residential and small business customers Service Class (SC): SC1 and SC 6 there is an added “hedge” that protects supply prices from changing too much, ensuring customers don’t get hit by spikes in supply market prices. This hedge also prevents customers from benefiting from dips in supply market prices.

Smart Usage Plan- On the Smart Usage Plan, if you have NYSEG as your supplier, your supply charges will not be hedged and may significantly fluctuate every hour of the day, reflecting the actual hourly prices on the Day Ahead Market (DAM). DAM  supply prices (and thus Smart Usage Plan supply prices) tend to be higher when demand is higher, typically from early afternoon to evening. Certain times of year, often on really hot or really cold days***, the Smart Usage Plan supply prices may dramatically increase. Other times the Smart Usage Plan supply cost will be much lower than NYSEG’s Standard Plan. Locally, supply prices tend to spike on very cold days in winter.

Be sure to set up a text, phone, or e-mail alert to notify you if this supply price will exceed $0.12 kWh the next day. See our Smart Usage Plan tutorial page to see how to set up alerts. If you get an alert, you will know to shift your electricity use for that period of time to avoid high electricity charges.

* Supply prices are coordinated by the New York Independent System Operator or NYISO. An ESCO or NYSEG will purchase electricity through NYISO on the Day-Ahead-Market (DAM). The prices on the DAM are set one day ahead of when the electricity will be used and prices for electricity change each hour of the day, depending on a number of factors including expected increase in demand for electricity during afternoon and evening hours. You can click here to search for our local Central Load Zone DAM prices.

**Exact Delivery prices are $0.0291 off-peak and $0.17972 on-peak for Service Class 1

*** Price spikes can occur for other reasons besides extreme heat or cold

Will You Save Money on the Smart Usage Plan?

The purpose of this rate is to offer a price incentive that encourages people to shift their energy usage off-peak in order to increase energy efficiency on the electrical grid. Some people are already not using that much electricity during peak times and may save money with little or no change in effort. Some people may have to make significant changes in their patterns to avoid extra costs and reduce their bill. If you can run appliances that use a lot of energy only during off-peak times, then you may save money. Big electricity users tend to be central air conditioning and window units, dehumidifiers,clothes dryers, electric heaters, water heaters, etc. Shifting when these appliances are used is simple for some people and not for others.

You can use the Smart Usage Rate Plan Analyzer on Energy Manager to see an estimate of what your last twelve months of electric bills would have been if you were on the plan. The estimated price does not include the basic service charge or other credits or charges that NYSEG may apply according to it's tariff structure. If you have had your smart meter less than 12 months, this feature will not be available and appear grayed out.  Also, supply prices can spike unexpectedly so set up price alerts that notify you when the supply price will exceed $0.12/ kwh.

You can also check out our web 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.

Contact Cooperative Extension’s Energy Smart Community educator for any questions or a presentation to your group on the Energy Smart Community

Aislyn Colgan- (607) 272-2292

Last updated July 26, 2019