A blast of frigid weather over the next two days brings with it projected high demand for electricity. Duck River Electric Membership Corp. (DREMC) will activate its Beat the Peak™ program on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings between the hours of 6 a.m. and 8 a.m.
Temperature and load forecasts show that a system peak will occur one of the two mornings, when thermometers could register in the low 20s and upper teens. Beat the Peak email alerts and radio ads encourage co-op members to conserve electricity during the projected peak hours when demand is expected to be the highest.
“A degree one way or another will determine whether the peak happens Tuesday or Wednesday,” said Director of Member Services Steve Oden. “So we are asking our Beat the Peak participants and all members to take some simple steps aimed at reducing power demand and helping us avoid peak penalties that can reach $9.50 per kilowatt-hour.”
The price of wholesale electricity from the Tennessee Valley Authority can become very expensive during a peak demand period. DREMC launched the voluntary Beat the Peak program in 2013 to enlist the membership’s help in controlling demand and stabilizing the cost of energy. Almost 14,000 members receive email and text alerts when load peaks are projected.
Over the next two mornings during the two-hour alert periods, co-op members are asked to:
Dial down the heat
If you normally set the thermostat at 68 degrees, turn it back to 65 before the peak event. Also, make sure your heating system’s filter is clean. Filters clogged with dust and debris can cause your system to operate inefficiently, wasting energy.
Fireplace dampers should be closed so heated air inside the home doesn’t go up the chimney. Turn off portable electric space heaters. These units can use a lot of power. Keep outside doors closed and curtains pulled shut over windows.
Delay use of appliances
Postpone certain household chores that involve major appliances such as washing machines, clothes dryers and dishwashers. Wait until after the peak period before doing laundry or washing the dirty pots and pans. Electric water heaters use a lot of power. Avoid taking showers and baths when a peak alert has been issued.
Cooking on the electric stove or oven also can increase household demand.
Remember all the ways that electricity is used around your home for entertainment, communications, grooming – and the recharging of batteries. Make an effort to shift demand to non-peak times.
Flip light switches
Turn off lights in rooms that are not occupied or being used. Because lighting is responsible for about 11 percent of a household’s energy bill, it is a wise conservation practice to flip the switch, especially when peak demand looms. And if you haven’t installed energy-saving compact fluorescent light (CFL) or light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs, this would be a great way to help.
If you haven’t signed up to receive Beat the Peak emails or texts, you can do so by going to www.dremc.com.