LOAD MANANGEMENT EFFORTS HELP REDUCE COSTS FOR ALL CO-OP MEMBERS!
Have you ever heard the term Peak Alert and wondered what it is, or questioned how it may affect you? A peak alert warning from Firelands Electric Co-op notifies members when demand for electricity is rising toward a new record. This peak increases the cost of electricity, which directly affects our members’ electric bills.
WHY IS LOAD MANAGEMENT NECESSARY?
During peak demand times, it costs more for Firelands Electric Co-op’s power supplier, Buckeye Power, to generate and/or buy the large amounts of electricity being consumed across the PJM Interconnection. To meet the demand, Buckeye Power’s large ‘base load’ coal power plants are running at full capacity and additional peaking plants are fired up and brought on line to help supply enough electricity.
Higher demand for electricity and higher peak electric loads mean higher costs for all consumers. A peak of electrical demand is set when consumers of a particular electric utility use more electricity than at any other time in the past. When a new peak is set, each of the 25 distribution electric cooperatives in Ohio, including Firelands Electric, is assigned a new demand charge on their bill from Buckeye Power, Inc.
The member-consumer's power bill is directly affected by this demand charge. If a distribution cooperative is paying more for power, it's very likely that the co-op will have to adjust its rates at some point to cover increased costs.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR ME?
Peak demand ONLY occurs during extreme weather conditions and temperatures — the hottest days during the summer and coldest days in the winter — and can result in a Peak Alert. During these Peak Alerts, Firelands Electric’s voluntary load management program may be implemented. Load management participants agree to have a PeakBuster device installed in their home or business. These devices are connected to electric water heater circuits and HVAC systems, and are only implemented on the hottest and coldest days of the year — typically less than 10 times per year.
Summer load management efforts typically take place on very hot and humid days between 2-6 PM. Winter load control occurs on bitter cold mornings between 6-10 AM, and frigid evenings from 5-9 PM. The time and duration of load management efforts may be adjusted, depending upon weather conditions and power loads.
Because of the large geographic area served by the PJM Interconnection utility group, there is potential for wintertime demand peaks to occur involving Buckeye Power and Firelands Electric. Cooperative members may be affected by load management efforts in order to reduce high demand across the PJM territory, and keep power costs as low as possible for all consumers in the 13-state group.
Click here for more information on how your load management device works.
YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE
During extreme weather, please help lower demand by reducing your use of electricity wherever you can. Avoid using major appliances during high demand times and adjust your heating or air-conditioning thermostat by four degrees. If members can reduce the demand for electricity – even a little – during peak demand periods we will all benefit and enjoy lower electric bills in the future. With everyone helping, we can control or even reduce the peak, and stabilize the cost of our electricity for all Firelands Electric Co-op members!
During peak weather conditions, please cut back electricity use wherever possible:
- Postpone laundry, dishwashing and bathing until later
- Temporarily adjust your thermostat four degrees—higher in the summer and lower in the winter
- Close all draperies and window blinds to reduce energy loss
- Turn off unneeded lights and appliances
- Avoid use of large electrical items, including clothes washers and dryers, during peak alert conditions
- Put your pool pump on a timer and have the pump “off” during summer peak time, between 2-6 PM.
- Join the nearly 4,300 Firelands Electric members who have a PeakBuster control installed in their home
PEAK ALERTS & PROGRAM INCENTIVES
When peak energy alerts are announced and energy conservation is critical, updates will be posted on Firelands’ Facebook page, www.facebook.com/FirelandsElectric, and Twitter newsfeed, twitter.com/Firelands. Firelands also provides alerts through the cooperative’s SmartHub application, which sends notifications to your mobile device or e-mail. For more information, visit www.firelandsec.com/content/payment-options and stay connected using the cooperative’s SmartHub system.
Click here to view Firelands Electric Co-op’s PeakBuster incentive program. Contact our Member Services department for additional information on ways to make your home and business more energy efficient!
LOAD DEVICE ACTIVATED