Beau Dusz
Ohio.com correspondent

Another program to promote the conserving of energy will soon be rolled out by the city.


City Council placed on second-reading legislation to begin a Time of Use program, which has the potential of lowering electric bills for residential, commercial and industrial customers of the city's electric system.


Service Director Chris Easton said new electric meters the city recently installed allows the city to monitor electric usage every 15 minutes. These meters would be the method to check for electricity usage during peak hours and off-peak hours for customers who choose to opt into the TOU program.


By signing up for the TOU program, customers would pay a higher minimum monthly charge for city utilities. However, by entering the program, the TOU customer would pay a smaller amount per kilowatt-hour for electricity used during off-peak hours.


Under the TOU program, the "energy year" is divided into three segments: October 1 to May 31; June 1 to June 30 and September 1 to September 30; and, July 1 to August 31. During those segments, electricity used during peak times has a much higher cost than during off-peak times. Thus, if a customer shifts electricity usage to off-peak hours, the charge for electricity is lower.


During the months of January to June, the peak hours are 10am-8pm; off-peak, 8pm-10am. For the months of July and August, the peak times are 10am-1pm and 5-8pm; off-peak, 8pm-10am. From September to December, the peak is 10am-8pm; off-peak, 8pm-10am.Easton said a number of companies have shown an interest in the program.


As Easton described it, a company may decide to shift its electric usage to off-peak hours to save on electric costs. Residential customers can do the same if they subscribe to the program.


The city has also installed water meters, which monitor water usage.


Easton said the city will do "community education" to inform subscribers of the program and its potential for lowering electric costs. Easton noted TOU is expected to begin November 1.


The city began an Efficiency Smart program last year with the goal of shaving 4,000 megawatts of electricity each year over a three-year period. The city’s electricity usage has been reduced by nearly 3,000 megawatts already under that program.


A $70,000 rebate was recently provided to the school district because the system installed energy-efficient appliances in the four new buildings constructed this year. A thermal heating system was installed in the new high schools. Lighting equipment activated by motion, with the ability to sense when one of part a room needs more lighting than the other part, was also incorporated into the buildings. 


City officials have also been working with commercial and industrial establishments to promote energy efficiency and to provide incentives to homeowners to purchase energy star appliances. Also, coupons have been provided to residential customers to promote the use of fluorescent bulbs.


Assistant Service Director Harry Stark said Wadsworth electric customers are saving at least $262,000 yearly because of the energy efficient program.


 
The city's electric department serves customers as far west as Guilford Township, north to Sharon Center and east to Norton as well as within the city limits.