How to Choose the Right Energy Plan

Sabrina Lopez
November 6, 2018
3 min read

Deciding what energy plan is right for you requires careful consideration of many factors since everyone uses electricity differently. Two identical houses could have drastically different energy profiles. For example, if one is full with a family of 5 who uses the laundry, oven, and TVs often, they'll have a higher energy usage than the same house occupied by a quiet retired couple.

Since people and their energy usage are so personal and varied, most utilities offer numerous rate plans with options to help you save money by optimizing your energy consumption behavior. Since these money-saving plans usually break up the day with more expensive on-peak and less expensive off-peak hours, getting engaged has much potential for financial relief. But with all these variables, how can you be sure you're choosing a plan that suits you and your family? To help, we put together a few tips below. 


1. Analyze when you use power the most

This can help you determine if a time-of-use plan naturally fits with your schedule. You may work a late afternoon shift where the typically more expensive on-peak hours don't affect you much. Or you may have a large family who usually uses the most energy during on-peak times. These considerations can help you narrow down what rate plans might naturally fit with your lifestyle or exclude ones that might be too difficult to work for you. Most power utilities offer great online tools to help you analyze your energy usage patterns by hour, day, and season. Start by creating an online profile at,, or Review your history to see when you draw the most power from the grid and how that usage aligns with your desired plan. This is the best way to begin making informed decisions that can save you money.  


2. Determine how involved you're willing to be with your energy usage

If you're more of a set and need to remember its type or use it when you want to person, you might not be the best candidate for a time-of-use plan. Under these plans, you should prioritize using your larger appliances during certain hours to avoid paying higher electricity costs. If you're willing to be disciplined and want to realize the most savings on your energy bill, plans with the most time restrictions could help you realize some significant savings. Be realistic with yourself, your habits, and what you're willing to commit to changing. 


3. Ensure your family is on board for your energy plan

Suppose you decide to go on a time-of-use plan or a plan that includes on-peak demand fees. In that case, you'll want to be sure that your family members understand the nuances of the new rate plan and are committed to pushing as much of their energy usage into the off-peak times. If they need to be made aware of the specific hours or are unwilling to work with you by decreasing their demand, you could pay much more than if you stayed on a more traditional plan. Conversely, the savings potential is significant if they are all on board with the new rules.


4. See if you're a good candidate for solar

Going solar can significantly lower your electric bills, and when combined with the right rate plan, solar can even put money back in your pocket. There are a few options for solar rate plans under most Arizona utilities, with a number of them combining demand fees with time-of-use programs. As with regular rate plans, only some solar customers will have the same energy profile. The rate plan for someone with close to 100% solar power would be better for a family using solar to offset a smaller percentage of their needs. Talking with a qualified solar installer who intimately understands all the local utility details is critical to helping you optimize your solar energy system's design to work most effectively with your local utility.  

If you’ve been thinking about switching to solar, now is a great time to make the switch! We invite you to contact one of our solar experts for a solar quote below. If you aren't ready for a quote,  download our complimentary whitepaper: Is Solar Right for You?