Peak demand is the point at which WEC members use the most electricity.
“Peak represents the highest demand for electricity, and it’s what our wholesale power supplier uses to determine the amount of electricity they must be prepared to provide us during the year,” explains Brad Kimbro, director or member services for the cooperative.
“When we set a high peak,” Kimbro says, “it causes our wholesale power prices to be higher, which is turn causes everyone’s electric bills to be higher for the following year.”
WEC will make temporary adjustments at its substations to help contain costs as much as possible. The biggest impact, however, can come from members.
“As part of the Peak Demand Alert, we are asking for our members’ help in holding down power costs,” says Kimbro. “By using electricity more efficiently during the peak hours Tuesday and Wednesday, members can help themselves by helping the Wiregrass Electric system use less power.”
During the hours of 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday, members are asked to consider ways they can use less electricity:
• Set your thermostat to 68 degrees (instead of the common 72 degrees or higher).
• Take showers the night before, if possible, to avoid extensive use of water heaters.
• Likewise, run your dishwasher and washing machine the night before, later in the morning or in the afternoon.
• Limit the use of TVs (especially large, flat-screen units), gaming consoles, computers and unnecessary lighting.
“We want to make sure everyone understands that Wiregrass Electric will have the capacity to meet this region’s energy needs, no matter how much electricity our homes and businesses demand,” says Kimbro. “But by working together on these cold mornings, we can limit the peak demand and hold down wholesale power costs for everyone.”
For more information, visit WEC’s website at www.wiregrass.coop and click on the “Peak Demand Alert” graphic in the header.