Pee Dee Electric Cooperative announced the start of a free and voluntary effort to help control energy costs for all cooperative members.
The Beat the Peak program aims to reduce electricity use during the time of day when power use peaks, such as winter mornings when temperatures are often at their lowest or late summer afternoons when temperatures are highest.
Members of the co-op can sign-up to receive alerts during peak-use times of the day. The alerts will encourage members to reduce their energy use during these times and provide tips on how to do that.
“It’s about saving money,” said Brian Kelley, president and CEO of Pee Dee Electric Cooperative. “When requirements for electricity are the highest, we call that ‘peak demand.’ As with most commodities, when the demand for electricity rises, so do the costs. When the cooperative purchases large amounts of energy during these peak periods over the course of a year, it puts upward pressure on the electricity rates the co-op and its member-owners pay.”
The idea behind Beat the Peak is to shift energy consumption away from times when demand is highest, which could save the cooperative and its member-owners significant money over time by keeping the wholesale power costs low and stable.
When The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina staff determines that a peak energy use period is coming, the co-op will send a Beat the Peak alert to participants. Members can choose to receive the alerts by text message, email or phone call when they sign up on the website www.EnergySmartSC.org. Beat the Peak alerts also will be posted on the cooperative’s social media outlets.
Beat the Peak periods typically will last only a few hours during which cooperative members will be encouraged to reduce high power-use activities. These are a few of the actions members can take:
- Adjust their thermostat by 3 degrees, moving it higher during summer afternoons and lower during winter mornings
- Delay activities that require hot water, such as washing clothes, taking showers or washing dishes
- Postpone using big appliances, such as clothes dryers and ovens.
“The alerts won’t be every day or even every week, Brian Kelley said. “We’re looking for those coldest winter mornings and hottest summer afternoons. If we can move some electricity use out of those time periods and into different hours of the day, we can help hold down everyone’s costs. Together, we can make a difference.”
HOW TO BEAT THE PEAK
To participate in the program,
- Go to the website EnergySmartSC.org
- Enter your contact information
- Select the ways you wish to be notified: email, text message or voice message by phone
- When you receive a Beat the Peak message, conserve energy for a few hours