DREMC Braces for High Electricity Demand on Friday, Calls for Beat the Peak

DREMC Braces for High Electricity Demand on Friday, Calls for Beat the Peak

Forecasts indicate that Friday’s temperatures will be one of the hottest afternoons of the month so far. A projected afternoon high of around 94-96 degrees combined with higher electricity demand due to home cooling could produce a monthly peak for Duck River Electric Membership Corporation (DREMC).

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. DREMC pays TVA millions of dollars each month in demand charges, but during a peak the price of wholesale power is the most expensive; the cost of electricity purchased by DREMC can increase to almost $10 per kilowatt-hour during peak.

The Beat the Peak™ alert window on Friday, July 21 is from 4:00 – 6:00 PM.

“This is when our temperature and electric load forecasts show the possibility of highest demand,” says DREMC Member Services Manager Carol Garrette. “The more our members respond to peak alert warnings, the greater our ability to avoid the impact of wholesale power price penalties associated with extreme temperatures. We all save by working together.”

Garrette further explained that 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.

Commercial and industrial members participate in a similar demand reduction program through DREMC. The cooperative also reduces air conditioning and lighting at its offices and other facilities during peaks.

Beat the Peak™ is a network of thousands of residential households that are sent peak alert warnings via email and text message. DREMC also alerts its members using media outlets such as local radio broadcasts and newspaper as well as social media. Members voluntarily reduce their electricity use during the time when demand is highest.

DREMC asks that members turn up their air conditioner thermostats by three degrees during the peak period. If the setting is normally 75 degrees, adjusting the thermostat to 78 will help lessen demand.

In addition, members should:
• Defer use of hot water. Give the electric water heater a break by not showering, running the dishwasher or using the washing machine.
• Delay running the clothes dryer.
• Close shades and curtains to block sunlight. If you have a swimming pool, turn off the water circulation pump.
• Turn off lights in unoccupied rooms.
• Keep the oven turned off.

When the peak period has passed, normal electricity use can resume.

“We thank our members for helping reduce demand as these reductions lessen the impact of higher wholesale power costs, which eventually must be passed on to the membership through rates,” Garrette says.

To sign up for Beat the Peak™ emails and texts, click on the “My Account” tab, or contact your local DREMC office.

Duck River EMC, a Touchstone Energy® cooperative, is a not-for-profit, member owned organization providing electric and other services to more than 74,000 homes and businesses in southern Middle Tennessee. Duck River EMC serves an area of approximately 2,500 square miles in Bedford, Coffee, Franklin, Giles, Grundy, Hickman, Lawrence, Lewis, Lincoln, Marion, Marshall, Maury, Moore, Rutherford, and Williamson counties in southern Middle Tennessee.