By now, many members may have noticed a new line item on their bills called “demand.” You may wonder what demand is and why Wiregrass Electric Cooperative (WEC) is tracking it.
WEC aims to have enough infrastructure in place to provide a reliable service at all times — including during extremely warm or cold weather. In order to do this, WEC builds its system and purchases enough power to handle peak power usage.
This approach to preparing for peak power usage -- referred to as peak demand -- affects WEC’s costs in 2 ways. The cooperative has to buy enough poles, transformers, and other types of equipment to deliver a quality service at all times. Also, peak demand influences the prices WEC must pay to purchase power.
By tracking demand, WEC hopes to inform members of ways they can lower demand and the cooperative’s costs.
Peak demand occurs between 3 and 6 pm during the summer and from 6 to 9 am during the winter. Being smart with energy usage during these times can save money for the cooperative, of which members own a stake! Some ways to help include:
- Washing laundry and dishes before or after peak periods. Washers, dryers, and dishwashers all consume large quantities of energy.
- Avoiding charging electric vehicles during peak periods.
- Taking showers or baths before or after peak periods. Water heaters are the second-largest consumers of energy in most homes.
Together, we can lower demand and costs!