What is a Peak Alert?
A peak alert occurs when all of Ohio’s electric cooperatives approach a new peak demand for electricity usage. This is important because South Central Power purchases your electricity based on the total number of kilowatt hours of electricity our members use, and also the largest demand for electric power during any one-hour increment. When we set a new “peak demand,” it can mean a higher rate for electricity throughout the rest of the year.
We share peak alerts with our members so they can help out by reducing their usage during those times (reducing the demand) when everyone is using more electricity. A peak alert is not a shortage of electricity available to our members. It is a way we manage the cost of our electricity. By lowering usage during times of peak demand, our members reap the benefit in the form of a lower cost for power.
When do Peak Alerts occur?
Peak Alerts are likely to occur Monday – Friday from 2 to 6 p.m. on days that are extremely hot and humid. Peak Alerts can vary during the winter depending on temperatures and demand.
Electric cooperatives across the state save millions of dollars by allowing their generation supplier, Buckeye Power, to control portions of their use of electricity at certain times through the use of load management devices called radio-controlled switches. We do this because electricity cost the most when it’s in very high demand. When the peak goes up, so does the cost. By reducing the demand for electricity created by electric water heaters, home-heating systems and central air-conditioning systems of our members, the cooperative works to reduce the costs of power for our members.
How can I help?
- When we experience those severely extreme weather days, find small ways to lower your electric use, such as:
- In the winter, lower your thermostat to 68 degrees or lower, or where comfortable.
- In the summer, raise your thermostat if possible to where comfortable. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends 78 degrees.
- Turn off lights and appliances you aren’t using. It’s a waster of energy and your money.
- Delay doing laundry, running the dishwasher or using other major appliances until later in the evening.
- In the summer, take advantage of using the outdoor grill to keep cooking heat outside.
By working together, we can curb the demand for electric power. This teamwork is a win-win for everyone, as the cooperative consistently works toward the goal of keeping the cost of power as low as possible.
Electric cooperatives in Ohio began using radio-controlled remote switches as far back as the ‘70s to help manage electricity load. By turning off water heaters, air conditioners and heat pumps during times of high demand, cooperatives and their members across the state can save a substantial amount of money on electricity costs.
Little actions make a big difference
While one remote switch on a single water heater may not make a huge difference, the overall program conserves a significant amount of electricity — there are more than 100,000 switches installed on cooperative members’ water heaters and more than 15,000 on air conditioners – and saves everyone money. South Central Power offers two load management programs:
Get a $100 bill credit by participating in this energy saving program.
Water Heater Switch
Become a participant in this load management program and receive a $1.25 credit on your monthly electric bill.