But despite findings that time-based rates can help customers reduce peak load—and may help the utility reduce supply costs—several variables must be juggled when designing the proper rate. According to a group of consumer, clean energy and environmental advocates, any changes must be made cautiously and gradually to ensure more vulnerable customers are not left higher bills they can’t control.

“TOU rates can have adverse impacts on consumers, especially on those who may have less ability to shift their usage to capture the benefits of TOU pricing, and on those who have trouble budgeting for bills that exhibit greater monthly volatility,” the group warned in a recent paper.

Titled “Guidance for Utilities Commissions on Time of Use Rates,” the paper represents a shared perspective from a range of advocates. Among the authors are representatives from US PIRG, The Utility Reform Network,  National Consumer Law Center,  Acadia Center, and others.

Read the full article from Utility Dive here.