BEC Offers Choice of Electric Rates


Bandera Electric Cooperative encourages members to sign up for its time-based usage program to save money and energy. This voluntary program is open to all members and has varying electric rates based on the time of day and the season in which the energy is used, unlike standard electric rates where members are charged the same amount for electricity no matter when it is used.

“This program gives members the power to reduce their energy bill by shifting energy use from on-peak to off-peak hours, while also helping reduce overall electric demand,” said Becky Bradburn, BEC chief financial officer.

The program is beneficial because the less electricity members use during peak times, the less overall demand there is, lowering the strain on the power grid and reducing the need for building additional power plants. Lower demand means BEC can lock in lower rates and pass those savings on to members, so everyone saves.

“BEC recently updated the time periods to match those associated with the Lower Colorado River Authority’s, BEC’s primary wholesale power provider,” said Bradburn. “Additionally, the rates have been revised based on our cost-of-service study. The rates are known to fluctuate and are sometimes more expensive and sometimes less expensive, but overall, the rates generate the same revenue as before.”

During the summer, peak load demands occur at the times of day when most people use the most electricity, like in the middle of a hot afternoon when everyone is running air conditioners and around dinnertime, when families are cooking, washing dishes and doing laundry. Off-peak hours usually are early in the morning, after dark and on weekends.

Members can schedule tasks during off-peak hours to keep electric usage to a minimum between 2 and 6 p.m. with the following tips:
• Wait until off-peak hours to run your dishwasher.
• Run full laundry loads during off-peak hours on weekdays or on weekends.
• Wait for off-peak hours to run your pool pump, which can use more electricity than any other appliance—except for the air conditioner.
• Install a timer on your water heater so it won’t come on during peak hours. You’ll still have plenty of hot water in the morning because it can run overnight.

The Time-Based Usage summer rates run June through September, and the winter rates run October through May. Learn more about the Time-Based Usage program online at

Posted Monday, May 2, 2022