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Are Electric Rates Higher In Summer or Winter

By powerwizard

Are electric rates higher in summer or the Winter? The answer to this question depends on a number of factors, but there is one thing that will impact your electricity bill more than any other, your choice of electricity plan. 

If you’ve ever seen any fantasy movies or read any books of that genre, you know how handy it can be to have a wizard in your corner. 

Whether you’re going on a great quest or going online to start shopping for electricity, a little magic for when things get complicated is always helpful. 

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Does your electricity bill cause you anxiety during the summer months?

Do you have a house full of kids from dusk to dawn trying to escape the hot summer sun?

When we ask the question, are electric rates higher in summer or winter, are we really looking for ways to reduce your summer electricity bill?

Many Texas families face these same concerns during the hot summer months.

We’ve created this guide to:

  • Review the best times of the day to use your major appliances
  • Offer tips and tricks to reduce your electricity bill
  • Explain how to be sure you are using the best electricity provider for your unique needs

Do Electric Rates Go Up in the Summer?

Electric rates do go up in the summer. There are a few good reasons why this happens.

Before we review these reasons, let us introduce the Jones family:

The Jones family lives in Texas and has two working parents and three school-aged children who spend most of their daytime hours throughout the week outside of their home.

They aren’t using appliances, watching television, turning lights on and off, or doing laundry during the peak hours of the day.

With so many “free nights and weekends plans” offered by Retail Electric Providers (REP), the Jones family saves money on their electric bill during most months throughout the year.

However, in the summertime, the three children are home ALL DAY.

With the high temperatures in Texas during these few months where the kids are out of school, the Jones family children spend many of their daytime hours inside of their house.

They’re playing video games for entertainment, blasting the air conditioner units to help stay cool, and taking care of some household chores like laundry and dishes while their parents are at work.

Electric companies in Texas realize that the demand for electricity is much higher during these crucial summer months and often increase their rates.

The 3 Top Reasons Summer Rates are Higher vs. Winter Electricity Rates

Many key factors influence the price of electricity.

According to the United States Energy Information Association (EIA), some of these factors are:

  • Varying fuel costs – especially during times of high demand
  • Construction, maintenance, and operating costs of power plants
  • Maintenance costs of the electricity transmission and distribution systems
  • Weather conditions
  • Specific state regulations

These factors play a large role in how REPs generally price their electricity.

But, there are also reasons why summer electricity rates are often higher than winter electricity rates.

Reason 1: Kids Are on Summer Break From School

During the summer months, when temperatures are at a brutal all-time high, school is not in session.

This means that most Texas homes are filled with school-aged children during the daytime hours when electricity usage is at its peak.

The kids who are normally in school during most of the daytime hours are instead:

  • At home, playing video games
  • Watching television
  • Cranking up the air conditioner unit to help stay cool
  • Running many household appliances to cook, clean, or take care of chores
Kids playing pool. Are Electric Rates Higher In Summer Or Winter?

Reason 2: Hot Texas Weather

Texas is rather warm almost all year round, but summer days in Texas are particularly hot.

Starting as early as the first signs of spring, temperatures in Texas can average between 68°F to 80°F and continue to climb through the fall.

While school is not in session, Texas temperatures reach close to 100°F, forcing many people indoors during daytime hours.

Temperatures in Texas stay high until the winter months when they tend not to drop much lower than 50°F.

Reason 3: Air Conditioners Use a lot of Electricity

The high summer temperatures in Texas force residents and business owners to use their air conditioners frequently to stay comfortable.

Running an air conditioner for countless hours requires a lot of electricity. Often, they are working very hard to cool down an entire house or business establishment.

Internally, there are a lot of moving parts to an air conditioner unit. All of the work that these parts do consumes a lot of power which raises the price of your electricity during these crucial months.

Additionally, neglecting care on your air conditioner unit can run your electric bill even higher.

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Is It Possible to Lower Your Summer Rates?

It is possible to lower your summer electricity rates by making smart choices and changes in your daily routines during these high-temperature months.

Tip #1 – Use a Programmable Thermostat For Your Air Conditioner

Rather than leaving your air conditioner on high all day long while no one is home at your house, use a programmable thermostat that can be set according to your family’s schedule.

During hours when family members are normally home, program your air conditioner to run at cooler temperatures.

While there is no one in the house, keep the temperature higher or turn the AC off completely to save some money on your electricity bill.

Tip #2 – Spend Time Out of The Home

It is tempting to stay home and cool off in the AC during the high temperatures of a Texas summer.

Instead, try to spend some of your summer days outside of your house in places where you can still keep cool.

Consider places like:

  • Public library
  • Community pool
  • Movie theatre
  • Bowling alley
  • Local shops and stores

Tip #3 – Use Blinds, Drapes, and Ceiling Fans

Sometimes it is difficult or nearly impossible to get out of the house on hot Texas summer days.

Just because you are forced to stay indoors does not mean you have to crank the air conditioner all day long.

During the hours that your air conditioner is programmed to turn off or raise the temperature, take advantage of your blinds, drapes, and ceiling fans.

By blocking the hot sun from coming through the windows and keeping the rooms in your home darker, your home will stay a bit cooler.

Blinds and drapes are not just for decoration. Blinds are made to reduce heat by up to 45%, while drapes can reduce heat by 33%.

Similarly, using ceiling fans can cool a room by approximately 4 degrees.

Using all of these methods can help to minimize air conditioner usage and reduce your electricity bill during the Texas summer months.

What Are the Best Hours to Use Electricity in the Summer?

Before the majority of Texas deregulated the energy market, the hours of the day did not matter in terms of electricity use. In fact, before deregulation, we never asked the question are electric rates higher in summer or winter.

In a regulated energy market, electricity providers charge one flat rate no matter the time of day. They were able to do this because consumers had no choice in who they used as their electricity provider.

Now, REPs typically break down the day into three different periods and vary their pricing from one to the next to stay competitive.

Peak Hours

Typically, electricity is in the highest demand from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the summer.

Mid-Peak Hours

When demand for electricity is relatively average, it is known as “mid-peak hours.”

Normally, this is on weekdays from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. in the summer.

Off-Peak Hours

When electricity is in the lowest demand for the day, it is considered “off-peak hours.”

This is the best time to use electricity.

Generally, this is from 11 p.m. To 7 a.m. in the summer.

These periods will vary with each Texas REP, so be sure to check with your specific electricity provider.

If you are looking for a new electricity provider in your area of Texas, use Power Wizard’s Shopping tool.

Discover the best electricity rates.

Power Wizard finds you the best electricity plan and ensures you won’t overpay for electricity again.

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What Are the Best Hours to Use Electricity in the Winter?

During the winter months, Retail Electric Providers generally vary their pricing based on the time of the day when electricity consumption is at its highest or lowest demand.

Peak Hours

  • 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.
  • 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Try to avoid electricity usage during these hours to keep your electricity bill down.

Mid-peak Hours

  • 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Electricity prices are average during this time of day.


  • 9 p.m. to 7 a.m
  • Saturday and Sunday
  • Major holidays

It is best to use electricity during off-peak hours when electricity consumption is at its lowest.

What are the Cheap Electricity Times?

Retail Electric Providers generally set their rates at the lowest pricing during off-peak hours when electricity consumption is at the lowest.

Each Texas REP might have its own time of day where they offer lower electricity rates.

To find an REP in your specific area of Texas, use Power Wizard’s Shopping tool. You’ll find an electricity provider that best suits your specific needs within minutes.

Woman doing laundry. Are Electric Rates Higher In Summer Or Winter?
Discover the best electricity rates.

Power Wizard finds you the best electricity plan and ensures you won’t overpay for electricity again.

Learn More in Under 2 Mins

What are Major Appliances to Avoid

During Peak Rate Times?

Using major appliances during the peak hours of the day can cause your electricity bills to spike during the summer.

Some of these appliances include:

  • Air conditioner
  • Washing machine
  • Dryer
  • Dishwasher

Instead, save your major appliance usage for when electricity rates are the cheapest throughout the day.

When is electricity the cheapest?

Electricity is cheapest during off-peak hours (generally early morning and late night), but these specific hours might vary with each different electricity provider.

Do Electric Companies Charge Less at Night During the Summer?

Many electricity companies offer off-peak rates during the summer months.

These rates are usually during the night hours when electricity consumption is lower than at other times of the day.

However, electricity companies are aware that many homes still run their air conditioner units through the night to allow for comfortable sleeping.

Because of this, they may not offer a significant price decrease during the off-peak hours in the summertime.

How Switching Energy Companies Can Save

Your Money on Your Summer Bills

Charles and his family are residents of Houston, Texas. During the summer months, Charles has three school-aged children at home during peak hours when electricity is in high demand.

Charles believes that he and his family are doing all that they can to help reduce their electricity bill during the summertime.

They are consistent with:

  • Using major appliances during off-peak hours
  • Programming the thermostat to optimize the temperature throughout the day
  • Closing drapes and blinds
  • Using ceiling fans
  • Reducing television and home electronics use
  • Spending more time in indoor public places
  • Using the community pool

Regardless of all of these changes, Charles’ electric bill has not dropped.

He wonders if switching to a new electricity company might be the answer to his summer electric bill problems.

Family playing summer. Are Electric Rates Higher In Summer Or Winter?
Discover the best electricity rates.

Power Wizard finds you the best electricity plan and ensures you won’t overpay for electricity again.

Learn More in Under 2 Mins

How to Search for a New Company

Maybe you find joy in filling your days with hours and hours of research.

But searching through all of the different Texas electricity providers and the options they offer could take all day.

Here’s what that process might look like for you:

  1. Research for hours
  2. Compile your findings
  3. Compare all of the rates and plans
  4. Continually monitor your usage and plan to ensure you’ve chosen the best one for your needs.

This is stressful and will prove to be a waste of your time.

Instead, you can save yourself time and frustration and use Power Wizard’s Shopping tool to find a new electricity provider in minutes.

How does it work? It’s simple:

  1. Enter your zip code into the Shopping tool
  2. Provide any additional relevant information on your home and electricity usage
  3. Wait patiently for a few short minutes

The provider that meets the specific needs of your family will be at your fingertips.

Spend Days Researching and Comparing All Available Plans

Searching for a new electricity company can be tedious and frustrating.

Like Charles, you can spend hours and hours searching Google to find the various REPs around Houston, Texas.

You will probably have to take notes to keep track of all of the different rates and prices each provider offers before spending the time to read through and review each one individually.

By this point, you will likely be frustrated and want to give up on the process of searching for a new electricity provider.

Instead, you can use Power Wizard’s Shopping tool to find a new electricity provider quickly.

Discover the best electricity rates.

Power Wizard finds you the best electricity plan and ensures you won’t overpay for electricity again.

Learn More in Under 2 Mins

How to Choose the Best Plan to Save Money

Since Texas has become a deregulated energy market, taking the time to search through 150+ REPs and all of their various plans is nearly impossible.

How could you ever know that you’re choosing the very best plan to help save you money by manually sorting through each one?

You could never be sure.

Instead, you can use Power Wizard’s Shopping tool. You can be set up with the best plan with the best prices for you and your needs in minutes.

How a 3rd Party Company Can Help You


Using a third-party search tool can be beneficial in more than one way:

  1. Saves time. Searching manually for an electricity provider in Texas could take hours and hours. There are over 150 different providers across the state, and it would be a waste of your time to read and review every single one before choosing your provider.
  2. Saves money If you manually research and choose your provider, there’s a good chance you’ll end up with one that doesn’t offer you the best rates for your needs. Using a third-party company can help you find the electricity provider that will save you the most money while still meeting your electricity usage needs.
  3. Saves frustration Searching for electricity providers is probably not your idea of fun. With all of the information on each of the 150+ providers out there, you will likely quickly become frustrated with the process of searching through them. You can bypass all of the headaches by using a third-party company.
  4. Saves the uncertainty of wondering if there is a better provider out there. You can spend the time looking for an electricity provider yourself, but you’ll probably never be sure if you’ve found the very best one for your needs. Using a third-party company can ensure that you are signed on with the best provider for your unique needs.

Where Most 3rd Party Companies Fall


While third-party companies can be extremely helpful, you need to be cautious of who you choose to move forward with.

Some companies:

  • It might be biased by industry connections
  • It might only work with a select few REPs
  • Might receive referral payments from REPs

Power Wizard is unbiased and offers a Shopping tool to help you get started on your search.

The process is quick and easy and does not require any direct communication with us unless you feel it is necessary. We know the answer to the question are electric rates higher in the summer or winter. With this info, Power Wizard is able to select the right electricity plan for your home.

Power Wizard is not a one-stop-shop company.

We are passionate about helping you find the best electricity provider for your needs.

After initially finding you the best electricity provider and plan, we continue to monitor your account and update you when a better provider or plan option becomes available.

Spend less than 5 minutes allowing Power Wizard to help you save money all year long

Using Power Wizard is easy and pain-free. We take the hard work and frustration out of searching for an electricity provider by using smart technology and staying up-to-date on providers and plans.

Get connected to the best plan for your unique needs in less than 5 minutes by using Power Wizard’s unbiased system.

Discover the best electricity rates.

Power Wizard finds you the best electricity plan and ensures you won’t overpay for electricity again.

Learn More in Under 2 Mins

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