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Long Island Power Authority approves new electricity rates that change based on time of day

LIPA will offer customers new time-of-day rate plan
LIPA will offer customers new time-of-day rate plan 02:19

CARLE PLACE, N.Y. -- On Long Island, when you wash your clothes, cool you home and charge your car could soon impact your electric bill. 

Customers will have to make a decision in the coming months when Long Island Power Authority starts offering rates that fluctuate based on the time of day. 

The new rates could mean hundreds of dollars in savings per year. 

"By taking some actions, it's very realistic that a customer could save 50, 60, 70 dollars a month," said LIPA Chief Executive Tom Falcone. 

While some utilities made it voluntarily, everyone on Long Island will be automatically enrolled unless they opt out. 

Currently, rates are the same no matter the time of day. Next year, prices will vary, with savings for off-peak use. 

"By breaking the day into two periods, 80 percent of customers are going to save a little bit of money even with no changes to behavior. But we're giving customers the opportunity to save significant amount of money," said Falcone. 

Electricity will be most expensive during peak hours, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays. All other times are off-peak. A lower, "super off-peak" rate will be offered overnight for car charging. 

"People are going to enjoy it and they're going to start to be more conscious. I think that we all, at the end of the day, can appreciate being smart consumers," said David Schieren, founder of Empower Solar. "What type of energy am I using, what does it cost, what is the pollution associated with this energy?"

"We're not saying don't run the air conditioning in the afternoon. But by contrast you could set your thermostat a couple of degrees lower, your programmable thermostat a couple of degrees lower, at 2 p.m. and you save about $12 a month," said Falcone. 

For the first year, LIPA is offering a money-back guarantee if a flat rate would've been cheaper. So there's no risk. 

The goal is to help customers save money and spread out use to prevent blackouts and the need for more power plants to charge all the electric vehicles. 

Customers will receive notices to explore the different rates before the transition in case they want to opt out. 

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