Beat the peak (and save money)
If you look around your home, you likely have more devices and equipment that require electricity than ever before. Our connected lives are increasingly dependent on more electricity to function. At the same time, as demand for electricity rises, PPEC must deliver an uninterrupted 24/7 power supply — regardless of market conditions or other circumstances. As you would expect based on your own family’s habits, electricity use fluctuates throughout the day based on consumer demand. PPEC must be able to provide enough electricity to meet the energy needs of all members during times of highest energy use, or “peak hours.” These peak times are typically in the morning as people start their day and in the evening as people return to their homes. What you may not know is that electric utilities typically pay more for electricity — either from our own generation co-op, Buckeye Power, or from another utility with excess power — during those morning and evening “energy rush hours.” In addition, the demand for electricity is even higher when it’s especially hot or cold outside, when heating and cooling systems must run longer. If the “peak times” concept is a bit puzzling, here’s an easy way to think about it, and it’s similar to a major concert. We know costs go up when there is strong demand for tickets (or electricity), and both are subject to the basic economic laws of supply and demand. When a lot of people want the same thing, it’s more expensive. When they don’t, it’s cheaper — like a bargain matinee or an “early bird” special at a restaurant.
Know when to Beat the Peak
Beat the Peak is a free, voluntary program encouraging members to shift electric use away from the peak-use hours anytime between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. on the hottest days of the year. The time varies with each peak, and PPEC notifies our members of the specific time frame via social media, text, SmartHub and/or email. Simply login to your SmartHub account and check your notification settings to ensure you are signed up. You can also call our office and we can help make sure you have checked the right boxes. During peak periods when the cost to produce and purchase power is higher, we encourage you to take simple steps to save energy, such as turning your thermostat down a few notches, turning off unnecessary lights, and putting off the use of large appliances until off-peak times. You can also save energy by plugging electronics and equipment such as computers, printers, and TVs into a power strip, then turning it off at the switch during peak hours. If you have a programmable thermostat, adjust the settings to sync up with off-peak periods. When we all work together to reduce energy use during periods of high electricity demand, we can relieve pressure on the grid and save a little money along the way.
Try our “Time of Day” Rate
Another benefit of this time of day approach to electricity use is that it allows greater control over your bill. Reducing the peak impacts the power-supply cost to every co-op member. This has been particularly noticeable as energy costs have risen across the U.S. Collectively, everyone conserving energy and making small changes can truly make a difference. Give our office a call, 800-686-2357, if you are interested in learning more or would like to sign up. Members who switch to time of day rate can save over $.04 kWh on off peak times. Remember, taking simple steps to save energy throughout the day and shifting energy-intensive chores to off-peak hours is a smart choice for you and our community.