Wiregrass Electric Continues Peak Demand AlertMatt Boster
Posted by: Matt Boster
Date: Jan 04 2018 7:06 PM
HARTFORD, Ala. — With temperatures expected to drop below 20 degrees Friday morning, Wiregrass Electric Cooperative is continuing its issue of a Peak Demand Alert.
Tuesday morning saw an extreme demand for electricity from across the region during the morning and evening hours, and that is expected to continue on Friday morning.
Peak demand is the point at which WEC members use the most electricity in a given 12-month period. “Peak represents the highest demand (capacity) for electricity in a given year, and it’s what our wholesale power supplier uses to determine our wholesale power rates for the following 12 months,” explains Brad Kimbro, chief operating officer for the cooperative.
“When our cooperative sets a high peak, it causes our wholesale power prices to reflect that peak. The higher the peak, the higher our wholesale cost for power, which in turn can reflect higher cost for our cooperative the following year. That’s because the higher the peak, the more capacity to generate electricity is needed to meet that peak.” Kimbro says.
“It is too early to tell the impact this frigid cold will have on our wholesale power rates,” says Kimbro. “But we know for certain that without the efforts of our residential members, as well as our businesses and industries, our peak demand would be higher.”
WEC will continue to make temporary adjustments at its substations to help contain costs as much as possible. The biggest impact, however, can come from members.
“As part of the Peak Demand Alert, we are asking for our members’ help in holding down power costs,” says Kimbro. “By using electricity more efficiently during the peak hours Friday, members can help themselves by helping the Wiregrass Electric system use less power.”
During the hours of 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. on Friday, members are asked to consider ways they can use less electricity:
Set your thermostat to 68 degrees (instead of the common 72 degrees or higher).
Take showers the night before, if possible, to avoid extensive use of water heaters.
Run your dishwasher and washing machine the night before, later in the morning or in the afternoon.
Limit the use of TVs (especially large, flat-screen units), gaming consoles, computers and unnecessary lighting.
“We want to make sure everyone understands that Wiregrass Electric Cooperative will have the capacity to meet this region’s energy needs, no matter how much electricity our homes and businesses demand,” says Kimbro. “But by working together on these cold mornings, we can limit the peak demand and keep our cooperative’s wholesale power costs as low as possible for our members.”
“I want our members to know that Wiregrass Electric appreciates their efforts to help us control peak demand,” Kimbro adds.