Bitter cold tomorrow brings Beat the Peak appeal

Bitter cold tomorrow brings Beat the Peak appeal

Single-digit temperatures forecasted Tuesday (tomorrow), Jan. 19, will mean high electricity use and the possibility of a demand peak between 6 and 8 a.m. across Duck River EMC’s 16-county service territory.

Beat the Peak™ and other conservation measures will be activated in an effort to avoid demand charges from TVA that drive up the cost of wholesale electricity.

“This is the type of high-demand event that Beat the Peak was designed for,” says Michael Watson, DREMC President and CEO. “During the peak, the cost of wholesale electricity goes from around eight cents to close to $10 per kilowatt-hour.”

DREMC pays TVA millions of dollars in demand charges every month, and these costs must be passed on to ratepayers.

Beat the Peak is a voluntary demand reduction program aimed at residential co-op members. Emails and text messages are sent to those enrolled in the program, asking them to conserve electricity during peak hours. Also, radio peak alert warnings are broadcast across the service area.

DREMC encourages members 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.

A peak alert doesn’t mean there is a power supply emergency. It is a reminder that high demand increases the cost of wholesale power and affects what DREMC must pay TVA, thereby affecting electric rates.

“We’re not asking anyone to be uncomfortable, only to scale back electricity use during the two-hour peak window,” adds Watson. “Everyone saves when we are able to Beat the Peak.”