Forecasted cost

On a day when Lakeland Electric is holding a public forum on ways to save on electric bills (9:30 a.m. at its downtown headquarters), it has also launched an updated website that lets customers compare how various rate plans affect the bill for their specific home or business.

The home page of the mobile-friendly site features a large weather graphic that shows how current temperatures are likely to affect your bill.

Weather chart

There’s an emphasis on saving energy — and helping the utility forestall expensive power plant upgrades — by avoiding peak-time use.

To that end, customers logged in to their accounts can compare their likely energy costs under three billing scenarios: standard, demand and shift to save. (All three plans are described on the site.) Based on your usage in the last 12 months, the web tool predicts your next-year costs under the three plans.

I logged in to check how the alternate pricing schemes would affect me at home. I discovered demand pricing would actually cost me $167 more for the next 12 months, while the shift-to-save plan would save a whopping $4.

Presumably we are assisted by our appliance timers and my wife’s thermostat frugality. Mileage varies, of course, so some customers will see big savings.

As somebody who had already had a web log-in, it took only seconds to log in and see the comparison.

View video from this morning’s forum:

The site also details various billing plans, including a pay-as-you-go option and the ability to pay a fixed amount, adjusted annually based on your last 12 months’ electricity, water and wastewater use.

The new interactive tools are provided by Atlanta-based Apogee Interactive, and Lakeland Electric is the first utility to launch their full “empower” suite on one site, Apogee CEO Susan Gilbert said.

[box]Check the site at[/box]

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Barry Friedman founded in 2015 as the culmination of a career in print and digital journalism. Since 1982, he has used the tools of reporting, editing and content curation to help people in Lakeland understand their community better.

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