21 Aug High electricity demand predicted Monday and Tuesday afternoons
Forecasts indicate that Monday’s and Tuesday’s temperatures and humidity levels will be some of the highest for the month so far. Projected afternoon highs of around 91-92 degrees on both days with relative humidity levels at around 64%, making it feel like 99-104 outside, 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 windows on Monday, August 21 and Tuesday, August 22 are 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, text message and ads broadcast on local radio stations. 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, go to www.dremc.com and click on the “About Us” tab, or contact your local DREMC office.