What is the Time-of-Use Rate?

The residential time-of-use (TOU) rate gives you an opportunity to lower your annual energy costs by changing when you use electricity.  However, if you use electricity during peak hours or excessive electricity during off-peak hours, your costs may be higher while participating in this program.

It is important to note that no refunds will be given if the rate results in a higher bill.  

Time of Use Calculator

Click here to view the Time of Use Calculator

Click on the chart to the right to see the daily breakdown for each TOU period for both summer months and non-summer months.

To see what the rates look like over a summer or non-summer week, click here.  

For more information check out our frequently asked questions or call our customer service department at 507-451-2480 option #3.

ALREADY KNOW YOU WANT IN?  Fill out the enrollment form and email it to our customer service department.


To download the PDF version of these frequently asked questions, click here.

Time-of-Use (TOU) is a residential rate plan where rates vary according to the time of day, season, and day type (weekday or weekend/holiday).  Time-of-Use pricing encourages the most efficient use of the system and can reduce the overall costs for both the utility and customers.

To download a TOU enrollment form, click here or call OPU’s customer service department at 507-451-2480 option #3 to request one.  Once you have completed the form, you can email it to customer service.  


Once enrolled, it may take a month or so before customers are transferred to the rate due to bill timing.  Participation is opt-in with no penalty to leave the program after a 12-month period.  After a customer has completed their 12-months, they may leave the program with a 45-day notice.  If they choose to return to the program, they must wait one full billing cycle.

There are three time periods of the day with three different rates:

  • Critical-Peak hours are between 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. during weekdays. The energy used during this time costs the most of all the periods.  The rate will be higher in the summer.
  • On-Peak hours are between 8:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. during weekdays. The energy during this time costs more than our standard residential rate.
  • Off-Peak hours are between 8:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. during weekdays, weekends, and holidays. The energy during this time costs less than the standard residential rate. 

This program is designed for customers who can shift their energy usage to times when the electric system has lower demands.  Residential customers with a lifestyle that coordinates with the rate structure (e.g., shift workers) may benefit. 

The impact on the bill is entirely dependent upon when a customer uses energy.  Without changing behaviors, some customers may have lower bills, while others may have higher bills.  A customer may need to adjust their routine and lifestyle to benefit from the program.

By shifting the majority of the energy, a customer uses to off-peak hours, they could see savings on their energy bill.  However, not shifting and running large appliances, air conditioning, etc., or charging electric vehicles during peak hours could result in higher bills.

A customer can decide to leave the TOU rate without penalty after being on the rate for a minimum of one year.  Once a customer leaves the TOU rate, they can be allowed back on the TOU rate when a minimum of 30 days from the cancellation date have passed. 

No.  Customers will not have information on their energy usage patterns.  However, the customer’s monthly bill will provide a breakdown of each period’s usage and the amount charged during that billing period.

No.  Residential solar customers, and residential customers whose primary source of heat is electric, are excluded from this rate, at this time.

No.  As of 2023 all residential meters are capable of collecting data for the TOU rate.

The meter is programmed to automatically adjust for Daylight Saving Time.

Yes.  Renters currently on a residential rate are eligible for this rate.

Yes.  Customers will be able to see their TOU breakdown on their billing statement and the budget billing amount is calculated using the total amount of the bill.

If you have additional questions, please feel free to email customer service at customerservice@owatonnautilities.com or call them at 507-451-2480 option #3.



Controlling and shifting your energy load is good for the grid as well as your wallet.  Load shifting is not a new concept, but has come into focus in recent years due to energy costs and grid resilience.  Load shifting could be as simple as using a timer on your appliances, or a remote control of devices such as lighting, stove or sauna.  Signing up for the TOU rate while shifting your load, could result in additional savings.

Want to know if Time-of-Use (TOU) rate is a good option for your household?

Find out by entering your average monthly usage in kWh.  Keep in mind, summer months are considered higher usage months due to air conditioning.  However, if you have electric heat, your winter months might be on the high end as well.

You can access the last 12 months of your usage by logging into your account portal here.  For current rates, see the enrollment form.

Next, estimate a percentage of your energy usage which you could shift to Off-Peak hours of 8:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m., weekends and holidays (New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day).  Examples of such activities would be:

  • Scheduling or delaying your dishwashing to run overnight. 
  • Saving your laundry chores for the weekend.
  • Setting your thermostat to a precooling mode during off-peak hours, or using a scheduling mode to optimize operations around your schedule.
  • Charging your EV overnight, after 8PM.


Your potential monthly savings could be: