Skip to main content

Time-of-Day (TOD) Pricing FAQs#

Fort Collins Utilities partners with local organizations to provide efficiency, conservation and bill payment assistance programs, including the Payment Assistance Fund and Income-Qualified Assistance Program, through our Affordability Programs.

Payment Assistance Fund - Residential customers whose electric or water accounts are past-due may request assistance from the Payment Assistance Fund once per 12-month period (Oct. 1 – Sept. 30).

Income-Qualified Assistance Program (IQAP) - Customers who qualify for the low-income energy assistance program (LEAP) may be qualified to receive a 25 percent discount on certain components of their monthly electric, water and wastewater bills.

TOD gives you more control over your bill because you can shift your electricity use to off-peak hours when it costs less. You also can save money if by reducing your overall energy use.

Larger appliances use more energy and cost more to use during on-peak hours. Consider shifting when you use of larger appliances to off-peak hours or weekends:

  • Start the dishwasher right before bed or first thing in the morning.
  • Do loads of laundry and use your electric clothes dryer in off-peak hours or on the weekends.
  • In the summer, consider pre-cooling your home before 2 p.m. and coasting through on-peak hours.
  • In the winter, consider pre-heating your home before 5 p.m. and coasting through on-peak hours.

More Money-Saving Tips

Fort Collins Utilities uses TOD pricing because it aligns with the actual cost of producing electricity. As a community-owned, cost-of-service utility, one of our main goals is to pass on the cost of electricity to our customers in a more fair and equitable way.

The cost to produce electricity changes throughout the day based on when it is used. When people use more electricity, the cost goes up; when people use less, it goes down. TOD prices align electricity costs with market prices. Higher customer demands during on-peak hours drive higher costs. This means that prices are lower during off-peak hours when demand and utility costs are also lower.

Our rates are designed to recover the costs of providing electricity. This includes purchased power costs (generation and transmission); distribution costs (infrastructure, such as cables, transformers, substations and capital expenses); and operational costs (system maintenance, vehicle/truck maintenance, efficiency programs and overhead).

The switch to TOD pricing in 2018 was not a rate increase, rather it was designed to generate the same amount of revenue on an annual basis as the previous rate structure.

On-peak hours are the times of day when residential electricity demand (use) is highest in our community. Because on-peak hours are driven by customer demand, they also change based on the seasons:

  • On-peak non-summer hours (Oct. 1 - April 30): 5-9 p.m., weekdays only
  • On-peak summer hours (May 1 - Sept. 30): 2-7 p.m., weekdays only
  • See pricing details.

On-peak hours were determined by analyzing residential electric use over 10 years. These hours were designed to include the period of time when demand for electricity was the highest (e.g., the peaks). Fort Collins Utilities made the on-peak hours as narrow as possible so customers could choose to avoid on-peak hours if able and encourage shifting electric use to off-peak hours.

Electric rates are higher during on-peak hours because this is when people use the most electricity across the community. Higher demand increases the cost that Fort Collins Utilities pays for electricity. That increased cost includes more infrastructure needed to generate more electricity and an increase in the amount Fort Collins Utilities pays to Platte River Power Authority, our local wholesale energy provider. TOD is a more fair and equitable pricing structure that represents a more accurate cost of the electricity that Fort Collins Utilities provides.

Because more people are at home, there is higher customer demand (use). Higher demands increase the cost to produce electricity during this time. Our rates are designed to recover the costs of providing electricity. This means that prices are lower during off-peak hours when demand and utility costs are also lower.

No, as a cost-of-service utility, Utilities is not legally able to generate a profit. The switch to TOD pricing was not a rate increase. The rate structure was designed to generate the same amount of revenue on an annual basis as the previous rate structure. Off-peak prices are lower than the previous tiered rate, while on-peak prices are higher. Doing this equals approximately the same amount of revenue as the previous tiered structure, except that now there is more flexibility for customers to control their electric costs. 

In fact, a study after the first year on TOD showed that Fort Collins Utilities and the majority of residential customers paid less overall due to a decrease in electricity use. Less overall electricity use, especially during on-peak hours, could lead to long-term cost savings as less new renewable energy will need to be purchased.

Cost-of-service is the cost it takes to produce and deliver a service such as electricity. There are a lot of moving parts to make sure you have reliable electricity every time you flip the switch.

Cost-of-service reflects the costs connected to the distribution and daily operational costs related to delivering electricity. This includes purchased power costs (generation and transmission); distribution costs (infrastructure, such as cables, transformers, substations and capital expenses); and operational costs (system maintenance, vehicle/truck maintenance, efficiency programs and overhead).

Fort Collins Utilities does not make a profit, a legal requirement for a municipal-owned Utility.

Utility Bill Changes#

'Starting' and 'Ending' electric reads will no longer show on customer utility bills because charges are now calculated on electric use during on-peak and off-peak hours for each day of the service period. 'Electric History' prior to the TOD conversion will not be available on bills, though electric history will continue to show from TOD conversion moving forward.

The electric line item descriptions on your bill will be associated with your off-peak and on-peak energy use. If the billing period crosses between a non-summer and summer month, your bill will break out the use for each season according to the different prices.


Did You Know?

Fort Collins Utilities is committed to quality. See our annual Water Quality Report.

Fort Collins Utilities monitors water quality in our water sources, treated drinking water and treated water returned to the environment.

A new washing machine can save you money. It can also save your clothes. Click here for the whole story.