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How to Save Money on Alabama Power Bills

How to Save Money on Alabama Power Bills

If you’re one of Alabama Power’s approximately 1.4 million customers, you’ve probably wondered how to save money on your Alabama Power bill. Fortunately for you, Rachel already asked… and here’s what we’ve found.

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Avoid unnecessary fees. 

Looking for an easy way to save $2.25 on your monthly bill? If you’ve been paying with a credit or debit card, it’s as easy as switching your payment method. Paying with a checking or savings account will allow you to bypass the $2.25 BillMatrix service charge. You can also sign up for Auto Pay using this method!

Avoid unpredictably high bills throughout the year.

Like most companies, Alabama Power offers a convenient budget billing program that helps you level out your seasonal bills. Most customers see a higher bills in the summer due to extensive air conditioning use. With budget billing, you’ll pay approximately the same amount every month because every payment is based on an average of the previous 12 months worth of usage. Your bills will be approximately the same every month until you discontinue your service or cancel your enrollment in this program.

Alabama Power

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Choose your ideal rate plan.

Alabama Power offers three rate plans. The third option allows you to pay more for the privilege of encouraging renewable energy. Since we’re focused on saving money, we’ll just skip the details on that one.

The standard rate plan, also known as the “Family Dwelling” plan, includes a monthly base charge and a rate that changes depending on your monthly usage and the season. This plan is best for customers who use power during summer weekdays.

The Time Advantage Plan (TAP) is a little more complicated. Like the standard Family Dwelling plan, TAP customers are assessed a monthly base charge and a variable usage rate. However, TAP customers are charged different usage rates depending on the time of day.  By shifting your energy usage to evenings, nights and weekends, you can save up to 12% per year on your power bill. You’ll have to choose between the Time Advantage – Energy Rate plan (which saves you money during 90% of the hours in a year) and the Time Advantage – Demand Plan (which saves you money when you avoid running major appliances at the same time).

In addition to these rate plans, you need to be aware of the residential rate riders and adjustments. These riders and adjustments can cause changes to the usage rates you are charged. There are currently 14 residential rate riders and adjustments listed at Alabama Power’s website.

If you receive SSI (Supplemental Security Income) or Medicaid, you need to know about the Rate Rider SSI. This rider states that Alabama Power cannot charge you the Rate FD customer charge. You’ll need to contact Alabama Power for an application to this program.

If you’re having a hard time understanding your Alabama Power bill, don’t worry. It’s complicated but this handy, step-by-step guide will help you understand each of the sections on your monthly statement.

Get help making your payments.

If you’re having trouble making your Alabama Power payments, there are many ways you can get help. The first and perhaps easiest is by requesting a payment extension from the company. They offer payment arrangements but unfortunately I was not able to access any details because I am not an Alabama Power customer.

Of course, you can also apply for the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). This program provides funds to low-income residents who need energy assistance. You can contact one of the agencies found here for more information.

You may also be able to receive assistance through Project SHARE. This program is administered by the American Red Cross, so you’ll need to apply at your local ARC office. The funds used for this program are donated by other electric utility customers who donate with their monthly bills.

Get FREE energy efficiency products and customized advice to help you save even more money!

Log in to your Alabama Power account and check out their helpful Energy Checkup feature. This service uses your actual energy use to produce a customized report of ways that you could save money on your monthly bill. You can also try this basic Energy Checkup that is not customized. You can also use this appliance calculator to discover which appliances are costing you the most money!

Weatherization can also have a tremendous impact on your energy bill. A few affordable DIY improvements can save you significant amounts on your power bill. If your income does not exceed 200% of the federally established poverty level, you may be able to receive weatherization services from the Weatherization Assistance Program. This program may install insulation, seal duct work, perform HVAC tune-ups, repair leaky or faulty windows and doors, replace older light bulbs with energy-efficient CFLs and more.

Get rebates, discounts and refunds through Alabama Power!

If you are able to make improvements to your home, you may be interested in helpful rebates from Alabama Power. The rebates may change, so check back regularly.  Currently, you can get money back from purchases of smart thermostats and Energy Star water heaters.

Get more FREE stuff in Alabama!

Nicole leads the Low Income Relief team with over 20 years of professional research and writing experience. Nicole started Low Income Relief after a personal experience with poverty. When her husband was medically discharged from the US Army, their family experienced tremendous financial hardship. Nicole was able to gather help from multiple community agencies and move into a nearby low income housing unit in just two weeks! Since then, Nicole has been dedicated to helping low income families in crisis. She regularly spends hundreds of hours combing through countless resources to make sure that Low Income Relief has the most comprehensive and complete resource directories on the internet today. Prior to starting Low Income Relief, Nicole worked as a novelist, journalist, ghostwriter and content creator. Her work has been featured in various print and online publications, including USA Today, eHow, Livestrong, Legal Beagle, The Daily Herald, The Chronicle and more.

Bill Berry

Wednesday 31st of May 2017

The bottom line is from June 1st to September 30th; power rates go up, pretty convenient isn't it! Yes, you will save money on the Time of Use plans but you really have to discipline yourself in the 1 pm to 7 pm (2 pm to 8 pm ET) window. Counting all fees tacked on it's 10.88 cents per kilowatt hour and 30.88 cents per kilowatt hour in that 6 hour slot before state tax is tacked on at the end. It burns me up that the base charge is $25.00 not $14.50 like it is for FD and Time Advantage Demand. the Demand rate is calculated at $1.50 per kilowatt hour and if for example anytime during the bill cycle multiple appliances at the same time regardless of the time of day you do it, that gets the charge. There's no average. If you make the mistake of firing up the stove, AC, dryer at the same time it's going to cost you dearly. Notice I said 1 pm to 7 pm...the power rate is actual 5.5196 cents before you tack on the other charges like fuel recovery which is currently $20.15 per 1000 kilowatts or 2.015 cents ($0.02015). See how that works? So you think 5.5 sounds pretty good; it's 10.88 when you add everything else. Alabama Power is part of the Southern Company and their brother Georgia Power has a gazillion options some which make no sense and are actually more expensive once you get past the rates they advertise; that said they are overall cheaper than Alabama. I take steps to limit the power I use in the 1 to 7 window; I use timers on all my major appliances including the water heater. I'm all electric, but there's no getting around the fact that during the summer months for 6 hours a day Monday through Friday except holidays, the rate multiplies by a factor 5 but in reality a factor of 3 and it is doable and you do save money if you use a lot of power outside that window and other parts of the year. These TA rates make you aware of your habits and what you're willing to pay. I continue to use it, but tomorrow is June 1st and I'll be making adjustments to all my timers to reduce power in the window.

Nicole

Friday 2nd of June 2017

Thank you for this information, Bill! I appreciate your thorough analysis of this option. That seems very, very complicated!