Time of Use Rates

Manage costs by shifting electricity usage with Time of Use rates

ATCO is launching a program to test Time of Use (TOU) rates in select communities in Alberta. In a TOU program, the price you pay depends on when you use electricity. TOU rates fluctuate throughout the day on pre-set times according to the cost of providing electricity and the supply and demand.

Just like rush hour traffic, the electricity grid experiences high demand peaks throughout each day. With TOU, rates are increased at these peaks to encourage limiting electricity usage and shifting electricity usage to lower demand periods, easing demand and stress on the grid.

TOU rates utilizes Advanced Meter Infrastructure (AMI) technology to communicate the electricity usage and the time of day. 

Trial Time of Use Rates Now!

Grande Prairie residents, we’re planning on conducting a pilot study in your area in 2023 to evaluate Time of Use rates and technology. To inquire about participating, please email us. 

To qualify for this rates study, you must: 

  • Be planning to stay in the same, primary residence for 12 months from the start of the study 
  • Consent to receiving monthly energy reports
  • Indicate large, controllable electrical loads on site (air conditioning, electric vehicle, hot tub, etc.)
  • There is no minimum monthly consumption and participants can opt out with 30 days’ notice
  • The rate structure is guaranteed for the duration of the study, and may be adjusted for annual inflation


What are the benefits of Time of Use rates?

  • Time of Use electricity pricing gives Albertans the opportunity to take control of their energy use and electricity bills
  • Time of Use rates provides opportunities to save by conserving and shifting energy use to cheaper times of the day
  • Time of Use rates encourage the use of energy saving technologies, such as smart thermostats and delay start options for appliances like dishwashers; every little bit of shifting electricity usage to off-peak times helps with saving
  • With shifting energy usage to off-peak times, Alberta can continue to supply the electricity grid with more green energy options  
  • Time of Use rate structures encourage energy usage to shift from on peak hours to off peak hours, reducing demand on the electrical system, increasing reliability and limiting power blackouts 
  • When energy demand is shifted and spread out throughout a day, it limits the stress on the electrical grid, extending the life of equipment and reducing the need for utility upgrades
Time of Use bar graph
Time of Use rates are different depending on when you use electricity.

Understanding your Bill

To gain a better understanding of your bill, including the difference between retail and distribution charges, please visit this helpful webpage that explains your electricity bill. 

At this time, ATCO is exploring Time of Use rates for the delivery charges. Should Time of Use rates be applied to retail energy, customers can expect to see further savings opportunities. For details on the TIme of Use rate (D13) and how it compares to the standard residential rate (D11), please refer to this document, which shows the price schedules. 

What to Expect with Time of Use Rates

ATCO is currently completing an internal study of Time of Use rates applied to delivery rates only, and so far, the results of this study demonstrate that customers are saving on their monthly electricity bill by shifting energy consumption to times outside of the peak rate time. Customers can expect to see further savings should Time of Use rates be applied to retail energy rates. 

Questions? If your question isn't answered here, one of our customer service agents would be glad to help. Give us a call at 1-800-668-2248.