Beat the peak

Posted on Feb 19 2023 in Miami-Cass REMC
Rob Schwartz

Let’s face it. Electricity is one of those non-negotiable “must-haves.” And you probably have more devices and equipment that require electricity than ever before.

As demand for electricity rises, Miami-Cass REMC must deliver an uninterrupted 24/7 power supply –– regardless of market conditions or other circumstances.

As you might expect based on your own family’s habits, electricity use fluctuates throughout the day due to consumer demand. Your REMC must be able to provide enough electricity to meet the energy needs of allmembers during the times of highest energy use, or “peak hours.” These peak times are typically in the morning as people start their day and in the evening as people return to their homes.

What you may not know is that electric utilities, including this co-op, typically pay more for electricity –– either from a power plant or from another utility with excess power –– during those morning and evening “energy rush hours.” In addition, the demand for electricity is even higher when it’s especially cold outside and heating systems must run longer to warm our homes.

Here’s an easy way to think about the “peak times” concept — it’s similar to the demand for concert or theater tickets. Costs go up when there is strong demand for tickets (or electricity), and both are subject to the basic economic laws of supply and demand. When a lot of people want the same thing, it’s more expensive. When they don’t, it’s cheaper –– like at a bargain matinee performance, for example. 

During peak periods when the cost to produce and purchase power is higher, we encourage you to take some simple steps to save energy, such as turning your thermostat down a few notches, turning off unnecessary lights, and waiting to use large appliances until off-peak times. 

You can also save energy by plugging electronics and equipment such as computers, printers and TVs into a power strip and then turning it off at the switch during peak hours. If you have a programmable thermostat, adjust the settings to sync up with off-peak rate periods. When we all work together to reduce energy use during periods of high electricity demand, we can relieve pressure on the grid and save a little money along the way. 

Another benefit of this time-of-use approach is that it allows greater control over your bill. Reducing peak use impacts the power-supply cost to every co-op member. Since energy costs have risen across the U.S., collectively conserving energy and making small changes can truly make a difference. 

Taking simple steps to save energy throughout the day and shifting energy-intensive chores to off-peak hours is a smart choice for you and our community.