Time of use ( TOU) tariffs aren't necessarily a major innovation in the energy world but for consumers they could change the way we use energy entirely.
A time of use tariff is designed to align a customer with the energy produced by the grid to maximise efficiency. An example would be during the summer months when solar energy production is at its highest we may waste most of this due to generation being higher than consumer's use. Energy suppliers would be paid to take on this energy (so it's not wasted) and coal based electricity generation could be stopped. These benefits would then be passed on to customers potentially putting them into a negative unit rate which effectively pays them to use electricity at these times. The same can be said for wind turbines during stormy evenings, as wind turbines would be going like the clappers.
All of this could allow customers to use their power hungry appliances during these times of negative costs, saving hundreds. A great tie-in would be homes that have battery power storage/EVs which could be fully charged during these negative rates.
Currently Time of Use tariffs are very limited in the UK, particularly for residential customers, but more and more suppliers are turning to them to gain an edge on competitors. One downside is that to be supplier with a ToU tariff you must have a smart meter and the roll out for these is still slower than expected but fortunately ENSEK are able to support suppliers who want to use ToU tariffs in the residential market.
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