Forecasts are indicating that temperatures will be only in the low teens Thursday morning, Jan. 31. These temperatures, combined with higher electricity demand due to home heating, could produce a monthly peak for Duck River Electric Membership Corporation (DREMC).
“As temperatures dip, your heating equipment runs longer and at maximum capacity, thereby using more electricity,” explained DREMC Member Services Manager Carol Garrette. “Even a few days of extreme temperatures can cause your bill to be markedly higher. The cumulative impact of everyone’s heating systems running harder is that we are likely to set a high demand for electricity from our supplier, TVA. TVA charges us for this peak demand, so if we can lower the curve of this demand, we can all save money.”
The electric co-op plans to activate Beat the Peak and implement other power conservation measures to lower the impact of spiking Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) wholesale rates during the hour of greatest demand. This is when the cost of electricity purchased by DREMC can increase to almost $10 per kilowatt-hour versus the typical average of approximately .10 cents per kilowatt-hour.
The Beat the Peak™ alert window on Thursday, Jan. 31 is from 6-8 AM.
Co-op members are asked to set heating system thermostats down at least three degrees, turn off lights in unoccupied rooms, avoid using ovens and dish washers, delay doing laundry (especially running the clothes dryer) and reduce hot water use during the two hours when the peak could occur.
When the peak period has passed, normal electricity use can resume.
“Demand reductions lessen the impact of higher wholesale power costs, which eventually must be passed on to the membership through rates,” Garrette says. “With Beat the Peak, we attempt to hold down DREMC’s wholesale power bill.”