free nights weekends electricity save money

Do ‘Free Nights and Weekends’ Electricity Plans Really Save Money?

  • Written By: Rebecca Bridges
  • Edited By: Shannon Bedrich

  • As you’re shopping for an electricity plan, you’ll come across plans that advertise phrases like “free nights and weekends” or “free nights and solar days.” This may sound too good to be true, but they’re absolutely legitimate.

    There are a lot of light companies with free nights and weekends plans. But, what you really want to know as an electricity consumer is, are free nights and weekends worth it?

    Shop Free Electricity Plans Near You

    How Do Free Electricity Plans Work?

    Free nights and weekend electricity plans are also known as Time of Use plans. They use the smart meter at your house to get a reading of your usage for every 15 minute increment. That way your electricity company knows your energy usage by time of day and can bill you based on when you use power.

    Electricity providers offer free electricity as an effort to shift some of the electricity load to lower usage, off-peak times like nights or weekends. The cost of electricity during these off-peak hours is much less expensive than during peak hours.

    These type of plans have higher energy rates during one period of time, in exchange for giving you free electricity at certain times. The big selling point is you get no-cost electricity during specific times. 

    Here is the pro/con of free electricity plans:

    • Pro: You get free electricity during specific times.
    • Con: They only make sense if you can shift some of your electricity usage to the free period.

    If you aren’t able to shift your electricity usage, you may prefer a fixed rate plan. With a fixed rate, you ‘ll pay the same price per kilowatt-hour of electricity no matter when you use it.

    Our Recommendations for Free Electricity Plans

    There are a lot of different free electricity plans you can pick from. We recommend what we call fair and balanced free electricity plans.

    On both of these plans, if you use power like an average consumer, you’ll get a low average rate similar to their fixed rate plans. And it you can shift some of your usage, you’ll get an even better price.

    Check our additional resources to compare free nights and weekends plans.

    And you can review multiple plans with free nights and weekends by checking our electricity plan reviews.

    Shop Electricity Plans with Free Nights & Weekends

    Is a Free Electricity Plan for You?

    Are free nights and weekend electricity plans worth it? Maybe. They may be for you if you are able to shift your usage to off-peak times to take advantage of free power.

    Free electricity plans could be right for you if:

    • You travel for work and are only home during the weekend.
    • You work Monday through Friday away from home, and get home around 6pm.
    • You’re able to shift your electricity usage — like vacuuming, dish washing, laundry — to the free electricity period.
    • You have a programmable or wi-fi thermostat to easily manage your heating and cooling.

    Free electricity plans are not the right fit if:

    • You have someone home all day, such as a stay-at-home parent.
    • You work from home.

    Knowledge of your electricity usage is critical. For a time of use plan to work on your behalf, you’ll need to ensure that you are really taking advantage of that free electricity by adjusting your usage accordingly.

    Otherwise, you could end up paying more for your electricity than ever before. Thankfully, most REPs send you weekly reports showing how much you are using and when.

    how to decide if free nights and weekends are for you.

    How to Take Advantage of Free Electricity

    To make a free electricity plan worth it, you need to evaluate these three things.

    1. Know what time of day and day of week you use electricity. You can find this out by accessing your smart meter data on the Texas Smart Meter portal.
    2. Understand what drives your electricity usage. For most Texas consumers, heating and cooling your home accounts for 50% of your electricity usage. Other big users are your lighting and electronics, plus large appliances.
    3. Shift your electricity usage as needed to make the most of your free electricity plan. For example, you can move household laundry and dishes to the off-peak hours. Or adjust your thermostat a few degrees until it’s time for free power.

    Providers offering time of use plans estimate a percentage of electricity usage during the free period when they calculate their energy rates. So you need to know that these plans are based on what “most consumers” use during a specific time period.

    For example, if the Electricity Facts Label says that the average price assumes that you use 30% of your usage during the free time period? That’s what most consumers use. You mostly benefit from free electricity plans if you are able to shift your usage outside of average.

    What’s the Catch with ‘Free Nights and Weekends’ Electricity Plans?

    These plans aren’t meant to be misleading. But at the same time, there are details that you’ll want to be knowledgeable about before signing up.

    Within our website, we clearly highlight the free energy time period, and the price you’ll pay at other times.

    The catch with free? Is that you have to pay for it somehow. That’s why the cost of electricity when you’re not in the designated free period is really expensive.

    If you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that enough of your electricity usage happens during the free period, then you may be able to save money. It definitely pays to compare free nights and weekend plans.

    Free Nights & Weekends Electricity Plan Reviews

    Need help deciding? Here are our reviews of the most popular free nights and weekends plans. Use these reviews to compare free electricity plans and find one that fits your lifestyle.

    Electricity Plan Features
    Shop Free Electricity Plans

    At ElectricityPlans, we dig into the details of these plans and highlight the information you need to know to make an informed decision. At, you can shop and compare several time of use electricity plans offered by reputable retail electricity providers serving your area.

    In the Plan Features section in search, simply select ‘Free Electricity – Certain Times‘ to see all available time of use plans in your area.

    Then review Plan Summary to identify what time of day the free power is.

    Start shopping free electricity plans now. All you need is your zip code to get started.

    About Rebecca Bridges

    Rebecca Bridges has worked in deregulated energy markets since 2001. As chief marketing officer for ElectricityPlans, she focuses on helping consumers save on their electricity bills and find the best electricity plans. Outside of work, Rebecca uses her marketing experience to support dog rescue and can often be found hiking or biking local trails.

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