Electricity is generated based on the real-time demand of those who consume it. When demand is high, supply can become an issue.
'Peak demand' occurs when the need for electricity is highest. For us, this is typically during the evening when families return home, cook dinner, and use appliances. Weather can also play a big factor in the demand for energy. High demand generally occurs on hot, humid days in the summer or extreme cold days in the winter. Using electricity during these peak demand periods costs more because more generation is required.
Our peak demand periods are typically from 2:00 - 6:00 p.m. in the summer and 5:00 - 8:00 p.m. in the winter.
To the electric utility, demand represents the amount of electrical power that must be available to consumers at any given time. To the consumer, demand represents how fast they use energy and how efficiently they use it. Demand is the amount of power needed to supply every electrical device running in your home or business at a specific point in time. The example below may help clarify the difference between energy consumption (kWh) and demand (kW). You will see that while the consumption (usage) is the same in both examples, the demand is greater in the example on the right.
How can a consumer reduce demand (kW) on the electrical system and lessen charges on their electric bill?
- Install energy-efficient equipment and find other ways to reduce your energy usage in business.
- Downsize your equipment to fit the job such as tools/equipment with less horse power.
- If you can, start equipment/machines at different times by waiting at least 15-minutes between each start-up.
- For example, if you were to simultaneously operate a machine that requires 20 kW of power along with a machine that requires 50 kW, the two machines would be responsible for 70 kW on the demand meter. However, if you were to alternately operate these machines, the maximum demand reading from the two machines would only be 50 kW, because the 20-kW machine only operates when the 50 kW unit is off and, as previously mentioned, the meter only stores the highest, or “peak,” demand. With interlocks and controlling devices, it can be easy to operate some equipment this way. Remember, each kW saved is worth up to $13.90 per month (depending on your rate schedule). In the case of the two machines mentioned above, the demand savings could be up to $278 per month. There are many ways to manage demand, ranging from manual controls and time clocks to sophisticated automatic units that program and control buildings and processes for large commercial/industrial loads.
The Cooperative offers energy consulting, as well as on-site energy audits. Energy audits are performed by trained professionals, who help identify where a building or facility uses energy and how that energy may be used more efficiently. If you would like more information on energy audits click below or contact member services at (800) 214-2694.
To the electric utility, demand represents the amount of electrical power that must be available to consumers at any given time. To the consumer, demand represents how fast they use energy and how efficiently they use it. Demand is the amount of power needed to supply every electrical device running in your home or business at a specific point in time. Watch the video to learn more.