Are there countries that charge you different electricity rates depending on what time you are using it?



  1. 0 Votes

    Yes; ours (the United States) among them. You are talking about a concept called “peak load pricing,” which means charging customers a different rate for use of a commodity such as electricity at times of maximum demand than for use at a time when less people are demanding it. The concept is most directly observed in regard to power and electricity, but can also apply to other things such as public transit or even roads. Utility companies in the US began experimenting with peak load pricing as early as the 1970s. Whether it is used depends on the locality, the power company involved, and whether the state or local government that is usually in charge of approving utility rates permits this type of pricing. Deregulation of the utility industry in the US in the 1990s, and “reprivatization” in the UK (essentially the same thing) gave power companies greater freedom to structure their prices in this way. A very twisted form of peak load pricing was utilized by Enron during the 2000-01 California energy crises, where Enron’s suppliers charged municipalities ruinous prices to supply them electricity when California’s grid itself couldn’t meet the demand (partly because Enron itself was throttling the grid by reducing production in other places).

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