High demand for electricity seen Monday morning

High demand for electricity seen Monday morning

Forecasters predict the coldest temperatures of the month for southern Middle Tennessee on Monday morning, Nov. 23. Home heating is expected to significantly increase electricity use, with higher demand charges impacting the cost of wholesale power.

Duck River Electric Membership Corporation (DREMC) will activate Beat the Peak™ and ask members to curb power use Monday between 6-8 a.m. to help reduce peak demand penalties. During peaks, the price of wholesale power can reach $9.50 per kilowatt-hour.

Temperatures early Monday morning could drop into the low 20s to high teens, setting the stage for DREMC to set a November peak. This means DREMC will have to pay its supplier, the Tennessee Valley Authority, more in demand charges.

Beat the Peak™ is a voluntary demand reduction program aimed at residential power consumers. Emails and text messages are sent to co-op members enrolled in the program, asking them to conserve electricity during the peak hours.

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.

“Demand charges cost us tens of millions of dollars every year. This is why reducing demand is so important, especially during extreme temperature periods,” says Michael Watson, DREMC’s president and CEO.

More than 13,000 co-op members receive Beat the Peak™ messages. Thousands more hear peak alerts on local radio stations or read peak warning articles in local newspapers.

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.

“Beat the Peak is a Duck River Electric demand response program, but other electricity consumers can help themselves and their local utilities by conserving power during peak hours,” Watson adds. “We’re not asking anyone to be uncomfortable, only to scale back on electricity use during the two-hour peak window.”

If you are a DREMC member who’d like to sign up to receive peak warnings, go to www.dremc.comto register.