Tiered Billing

I continually see on here that other tiered billing rates get higher as you go from tier 1 to tier 2 etc.
Ours gets lower when you go from tier 1 to tier 2 (we only have 2).
Does anyone else have a rate structured like ours is?

This is our current winter rate. October through May

  • Tier 1 - $0.073512 per kWh for the first 900 kWh
  • Tier 2 - $0.060089 per kWh for all additional kWh
    Westar Energy (Kansas)

To follow up.
The rate only gets lower from Tier 1 to Tier 2 in the Winter not the Summer.

Residential Winter
For the months of October through May:
$0.073512 per kWh for the first 500 kWh
$0.073512 per kWh for the next 400 kWh
$0.060089 per kWh for all additional kWh

Summer Period Rate
For the months of June through September:
$0.073512 per kWh for the first 500 kWh
$0.073512 per kWh for the next 400 kWh
$0.081088 per kWh for all additional kWh

Two more questions on your tiering

  • is your billing cycle based on exact calendar months or are start / end dates offset from calendar months ? Are those offsets consistent (does current Sense billing cycle setting fit your billing cycles) ?

  • how do you want to view cost ? The challenge is that your costs and expenses (in the summary) get higher later in the billing month. Good reason to conserve if you are in the next or top tier, but you might have been better off seeing your estimated blended rate at the beginning of the billing month, at least until your true to-date billed cost is greater than what the blended rate would have yield (i.e. you are using more higher tier energy in a month than your historic usage).

I ask these things because I built a TOU/tiered calculator that works with Sense export data, and these are the bugbear questions I had to deal with (my billing cycle has variable offset from month to month, so calculator needs to know my own custom billing schedule).

I don’t know if this available in your are or not but I just found out a few months ago that we have the choice of flat rate or tiered. I have always had the flat rate as it’s the default and the electric company never informed us we had a choice.
Flat is $.0.0846
And tired is about $0.12 and $0.06
The months and time change twice a year so spring and summer are different than fall and winter.
During either for me the flat rate is clearly about 20% cheaper. But when it changes the tired is going to be cheaper. With smart meters they don’t have to come out and we can change anytime we want.
I found the information at the states utility commission. I didn’t realize utilities are required here to publish with the state what we would be paying.
I’ll get these fuel adjustments on my bill and didn’t understand them. What it is for is when they have to buy electricity at a higher cost then they sell it to our from another utility and are required by law to adjust you bill bill for the overcharge.
Screenshot shows my rate in black circle and tiered or time of day in red
I believe our costs are lower than average here.
Correction: black my plan, red time of day and green (correctly pointed out by @kevin1) for tiered or inclining block. Thanks @kevin1

The rate schedule you circled in red is actually TOU (time of use), where rates depend on time of day, and potentially season. The one above, Inclining Rates, is the tiered option.

Thanks for pointing that out.
They call both of them tired because , I guess, there are tiers to the prices.
When talking to them they ask which tired plan your interested in. The block
Or peak off-peak are the generic names used.
But you are technically correct.

I was also unaware of the block plan until recently, I sure don’t like it with something like 2670KWH used last month.

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I just quickly looked over this forum and didn’t see a mention of time based or peak hours mentioned. Rocky mountain power had the option to be charge $.03 off peak and $0.33 peak. Being able to track your off and on peak would be a huge benefit. These peak hours also change during the time of year as well.

If your have tiered “time of day” billing you can set up alerts for using over X watts during those peak times. That’s a good way to focus on shifting electrical useable to later times (like dish or clothes washing)

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That wish is actually on the wishlist many times. I have the same option where I live to change from flat to time of day but not having this feature in Sense is part of the reason I ha ent switched.
The other reason is my utility says nobody has tried it yet and I would be the first. They said it could take months to iron things out because they aren’t even sure how it will work. I really can’t afford to bankroll training for the electric company.

It’s been 2 years, when is this at some point going to happen ?

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The biggest variable in our bills is the Hourly Demand Charge. In summer we pay, in my case $17.50 for each Kw of hourly demand between 15:00 and 20:00. Any major appliance that comes on while another is on could be incredibly expensive. For instance someone taking a shower between those hours and tripping the hot water heater on. That could easily trigger a 2 Kw addition and add $35 to the monthly bill. Thirty five dollars for a teen taking a half hour shower. Anyway, my point is that hourly Demand is really important to me.



So you are looking for time of use (TOU) pricing, not tiered pricing. You’ll want to “like” the wishlist item here:

BTW - that’s a huge kWh uplift.

I manage to keep my summer demand at 2 Kw and winter at 1 Kw. I do this by having my entire home automated with Insteon and an ISY994i controller. In the summer, which is until next month, I allow my AC to run for 15 minutes per hour between 15:00 and 20:00. I have kept my electric bill below $165 a month during the summer for two years now. My Demand time used to be 12 hours and I had to run the AC during Peak time. New rates lowed the Demand Peak time to five hours. My bills are lower after the rate hike than before. My next door neighbor has summer bills in excess of $300.


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Tiered billing and calculations for users with a “demand” charge would be really appreciated. This functionality is very much needed.


It looks like this was asked for 3 years ago by numerous users. I just got my sense and am now wondering if I should return it as the rates it shows are probably not accurate if you are on a tiered rate plan, or is this something that is “coming soon”?

Depends on what you are trying to do using the Sense data. I had tiered pricing when I first started but switched to Time of Use (TOU). I used Sense exported data and Excel/R to add pricing info for tiered and TOU plans. Projected savings pushed me to move to the TOU plan.

The challenge with most tiered plans is that your pricing today is very much dependent on past behaviors. So if you are trying to use Sense pricing / cost info to change current behaviors you are going to be “punished” or rewarded by what you did earlier in the billing month. It might be better to set Sense goals for the usage levels for each tier. Try to stay below tier 2 pricing, and if you exceed, try to stay below tier 3.

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