Beat the PEAK
Beat the Peak Program
What is Peak Demand?
The peak demand is the amount of generation capacity Brown-Atchison Electric purchases each month. It typically “peaks” during the summer when the demand for electricity hits its annual high. That single hour accounts for 20% of total costs that month!
“On-peak hours” — typically between 3 and 6 p.m., Monday through Friday during June through September — refer to the time of day when there is the most demand for electricity, requiring more power from our electrical supplier. This extra power to supply the peak demand — the electric utility industry’s equivalent of rush-hour traffic — is when power costs skyrocket. When costs to the power supplier increase, costs to our consumer-members increase as well.
In the non-summer months (October-May), the co-op’s billing demand is based off of our billing demand from July or August — so it is critical that we minimize our billing demand in those two months.
The whole concept of billing demand sounds complicated — and it is — but what to do about it is quite simple. Limit your electricity use during the summer months, particularly July and August, from 3-6 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Here’s some tips to help you do so:
1. Cook on the grill rather than on the stove. Cooking on the stove jacks up energy consumption during the likely billing peak hours. It also adds heat into the house making air-conditioning units work harder during those same hours.
2. Turn the thermostat up 5 degrees until 6 p.m. Try “pre-cooling” the home a little cooler than normal earlier in the day. That way, it may be possible to completely shut off the air conditioner during the billing peak hours. Air conditioning is the biggest end-use for electricity during the summer months.
3. Don’t start the dishwasher or clothes washer until after 6 p.m. This saves the energy consumed by the washer and the water heater.
4. Don’t use your pool pump during 3-6 p.m.
5. If you have an electric vehicle, wait until after 6 p.m. to charge it.
6. Limit time in your refrigerator and/or freezer. Every time you open the door it lets cool air out and the appliance increases energy use to create more cooling.
7. Refrain from using health and beauty appliances like hair dryers or tanning beds during peak times.