In today’s ever-evolving landscape of energy and water consumption, there’s an increasing interest in Time of Use (ToU) tariffs. These dynamic pricing plans are gaining popularity fast, but there’s still a lot of work to be done to help customers change their consumption behaviours in order to be in a position to take advantage of the tariffs. In this blog we take a closer look at what’s driving this trend and demonstrate our experience in helping utilities to encourage their customers to reduce their consumption during peak times.

Why ToU tariffs are taking off

Imagine this: you own an electric vehicle (EV), and you’re looking for ways to save on charging costs. Enter ToU tariffs. With the surge in EV ownership, more people are seeking flexible energy plans that let them charge their vehicles during off-peak hours when electricity prices are lower. What’s more, smart meters are making it easier than ever for utilities to offer tailored tariffs that suit different lifestyles – and ToU tariffs are emerging as a top choice. They’re especially popular and useful in geographies with constrained networks -which is why we’ve been busy working with suppliers in California where the peak tariff is 3x higher than off-peak! 

Water’s turn to shine

It’s not just energy that’s benefiting from ToU tariffs. The water industry is getting in on the action too. Take South West Water, for example. They’re rolling out a trial program that rewards customers for using less water. By offering lower rates for low consumption and increasing rates for higher use, they’re encouraging their domestic customers to be more mindful of their water usage and save money in the process.

South West Water’s Smart Saver tariff is going to be trialled for two years. The first trial began on 1st February 2024 and will see all domestic customers in Cornwall receive a credit up to £30 added to their bill if the county collectively reduces its water consumption before the end of the trial period on the 30th April 2024. South West Water estimates that 90% of people taking part will see a reduction in their bills and is looking to introduce two further tariff trials later this year. 

Consumer approval is key

Surveys show that consumers are increasingly on board with ToU tariffs, with many preferring them over traditional flat-rate plans when the use case is relevant. And according to Citizens Advice those who’ve tried ToU tariffs are pretty happy with the results. Citizens Advice commissioned some research to understand the potential benefits and risks of ToU tariffs and to understand how willing consumers would be to adopt these tariffs. The results revealed that 20% of people would choose ToU over a flat rate tariff and 75% of participants in ToU trials were happy at the end.

But here’s the catch: for ToU tariffs to really take off, consumers need to understand the benefits and be willing to change their habits. They also need to be reminded that when their circumstances change, their tariff might need to change too. Our systems enable suppliers to ensure their ToU Tariffs stay relevant to their customers and evolve over time.

Empowering Consumers Through Engagement

That’s where we come in. We’re all about helping consumers make smart choices when it comes to their utilities. We believe that by empowering consumers with knowledge, we can make ToU tariffs more accessible and attractive. Our tailored customer engagement programs can help both suppliers and end-users make the most of these ToU tariffs, avoiding losing out at more expensive times and helping measure the impact to drive a more efficient and sustainable energy system going forward.

It’s how we helped an Electric Utilitie in California. We worked with them on their Home Electricity Reports (HERS) programme which was focused on reducing carbon by providing customers with tailored messaging relating to their electricity consumption to encourage them to change their behaviour and reduce their consumption, especially during peak periods. 

Here’s an example Home Electricity Report from this programme. It shows customers how their consumption compares to similar household’s in their neighbourhood, when they are consuming the most energy and how they can reduce their usage.  

Join the movement

Are you ready to join us on this journey toward a more sustainable future? Whether you’re an energy or water supplier, we’d love to partner with you on a trial programme to promote ToU tariffs and encourage consumer adoption. We’re offering two suppliers the opportunity to pilot a trial customer engagement programme with us, so that together we can revolutionise the way people think about and use utilities.

Get in touch today

Ready to make a difference? Get in touch today to learn more about how we can help you make the most of ToU tariffs. Let’s work together to unlock savings and build a brighter future for generations to come!