QUESTION: I have heard that the rates for natural gas and electricity are cheaper when used during off-peak hours. For example, running the dishwasher at 1 a.m. would be cheaper than running it at noon. Is this generally true, and is it true for Baton Rouge residents? If it’s true, what hours are considered off-peak hours?

ANSWER: Colby Cook, communications director of the state’s Public Service Commission, says none of the regulated energy companies that serve the Baton Rouge area offer Time of Day Service — Entergy (electric and natural gas service), Atmos Energy Louisiana (natural gas) and DEMCO (electric service).

As a side note, CLECO, which does not serve the Baton Rouge area, does have a “Time of Use – Choice – Experimental Pilot” rate schedule as well as the standard residential rate schedule.

Such time-based pricing of electric power includes:

— Electricity prices set for a specific period on an advance basis, typically not changing more often than twice a year.

Critical peak pricing, where time-of-use prices are in effect except for certain peak days, when prices may reflect the costs of generating and/or purchasing electricity at the wholesale level.

— Real-time pricing, where electricity prices may change as often as hourly, reflecting the utility company’s cost of generating and/or purchasing electricity at the wholesale level.

— Peak load reduction credits for consumers with large loads who enter into pre-established agreements.

Not seeing the signs

QUESTION: Why aren’t there any hospital exit signs while traveling on Interstate 10 in Baton Rouge?

ANSWER: Well, there are. Anastasia Semien, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Transportation and Development, says, “There are blue hospital signs and green and white supplemental signs on I-10 East and I-10 West in Baton Rouge.

“Specifically, in both directions, the signs are located a quarter of a mile before the Essen Lane exit, a half mile before the Bluebonnet Boulevard exit and on the Bluebonnet and Essen off ramps.”

Talk to us

Send your questions to Ask The Advocate, 10705 Rieger Road, Baton Rouge, LA 70809; or fax to Ask The Advocate, (225) 388-0371; or email