TXU Energy in Texas is offering the first free energy rates in the nation, between 10 PM and 6 AM. Its daytime rates are 11 cents.
Wind power tends to be greatest in the wee hours. Texas wind power sometimes has to be curtailed or wasted because there’s no one to use it at night. The more wind power on the grid the more this happens, as it already has in Texas, and in the Pacific Northwest.
All electricity must be used right away, as generated, or generators must be turned off, or curtailed. Grid storage is being considered by utilities, to try to move the time of wind’s energy to the time customers need it – by day.
But rather than move the energy to the day, TXU Energy is trying to move the customers into the wee hours of the night. And with so much automation – it could be a huge advantage for Texas customers, where the smart grid is enabled so that consumers could take advantage of free night time power.
Delay timers on dish washers and clothes washers is one thing. The utility estimates that if customers can shift just 10 percent of electricity use from doing laundry or running the dishwasher, they can save about $200 per year, or just a few bucks a month.
But why stop at that. Buy an electric car and you’d have free night time energy to power it. That would mean driving with no cost at all for fuel.
Fill up a Steffes type of thermal storage electric heat sink at night, and release that heat as needed next day. That would mean home heating with no cost at all for fuel.
LTMC: One step closer to oil independence.
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