Curious About PSO’s Level Pay? It Works For Most
There seems to be quite a few posts on social media this summer about PSO's level pay and whether it's worth signing up for. Truth be told, it's a fantastic tool for long term residents, but might not fit your situation depending on military travel or type of HVAC system you have.
First off, what is level pay? Level pay is a program where the power company adds up your previous year of bills and divides it equally into twelve averaged bills. For most people, this means they'll pay on average a little more during the winter months and less during the summer peak months. In my home I get billed about $450 over the hot months for my power consumption, but I only get billed about $150 total over the cooler and cold months. So instead of having those low $40-ish bills in winter and the higher $100 bills in the summer, PSO averages their charges so I just pay $56-ish dollars each month throughout the year. They still get their total amount, I get to enjoy sticking to a predictable budget... but it doesn't work for every home.
My home is a traditional SWOK home with traditional HVAC equipment in it. An air conditioner that runs on electricity like all of them do, but I a gas furnace for heating over winter. That's why my electric bill fluctuates so much allowing the level pay option. On the other hand, my best friend has a heat pump. It's an air conditioner that runs backwards in the winter to provide heat to the home. So his air conditioner technically runs twelve months a year. We've talked about it before, and his average bill is a little over $100 every month all year long, so level pay wouldn't exactly be as beneficial for him as it is for me because his average would likely be close to what he's paying anyway.
On the flip side of it, I'm on a level pay program also from the gas company. Instead of paying $60 each month during winter and maybe $20 per month during the summer, I average $36 each month to level out that fluctuation, so it's not like I'm actually saving any money. That's not the point of these programs, you still spend the same amount, but those energy payments become predictable and calculable to a budget, making it easier to manage your finances overall.
Will it work for you? I don't know. That's really up to you to decide. I will say, the best investment you can make towards lowering your energy bills is insulation. You'd be amazed what a foot and a half of fiberglass in your ceiling can do for your home heating and cooling. If anything, I'd recommend that first. If you have gas and electric, level pay will probably also benefit your monthly expenditures... but if you're 100% electric, you probably wouldn't notice a difference beyond a few dollars.