Most consumers use more hot water in the evenings and mornings than at other times of the day. For those who have an electric water heater, this usage contributes to the electric utility company’s "peak load", or the largest amount of power demand that they have to meet on a daily basis. Some utilities are required to offer their customers “time of use” rates that vary according to the demand on their system. Lower rates may be charged at "off-peak" times and higher rates at “on-peak” times. You may be able to lower your electric bills if you can take advantage of these rate schedules. Check with your local electric utility to find out if it offers time-of-use rates for residential customers, and if so, what the rate schedules are. Some utilities even offer incentives for customers who allow their utility to install control devices that shut off electric water heaters during peak demand periods. Timers that automatically turn your water heater off and on are a good energy-saving option if you have an electric water heater.