Greenhouse Gas Reduction: Residential Rate Calculator
Most Vermont ratepayers are billed a "flat rate" for their electricity. But could alternative rates save Vermonters money? This paper used customer data that found, based on historical electricity use, that alternative rates can in fact lower costs with no change in behavior. And the customer could save more if they are willing to make small changes to when and how they use power. Working with the support of the utilities and using their data, the study team created a rate calculator to compare the costs (and savings) of various rates. Variable rate plans could help manage the electrical grid and save ratepayers money, while also encouraging customers to use electricity when it's cheapest and of minimal impact on the grid. Utilities could likewise use the rate calculator to incentivize customers to use less energy when the grid power produces more carbon emissions, or to encourage customers to use energy when the grid has excess renewable energy available.