Weathering extreme temperatures leads to savings

Planning to save energy during severe weather can keep you comfortable while helping the environment — and even lead to savings in your wallet.

People know the basic rules of supply and demand — price typically goes up when demand goes up. The same goes for electricity; wholesale electricity prices can soar when everyone runs their A/C on a hot summer afternoon or the heating system on a frigid winter day. You may not see these price differences on your home’s energy bill because your electric co-op may average these costs into one amount per kilowatt-hour (kWh). Yet, eventually, high-demand days can lead to higher costs for everyone.

Your local electric cooperative is part of a complex system that must be prepared to meet the highest power demands put on the energy grid. This is similar to how a big box store parking lot may seem larger than needed. On most days, many spots are empty. Yet the parking lot may be jam-packed on the day after Thanksgiving, the year’s busiest shopping day. Your electric co-op has to build or buy enough capacity to fulfill everyone’s needs on those hottest and coldest days of the year.


Many co-ops offer advice and programs to limit the peak demand during those days of extreme temperatures and energy use. Options for homeowners can include load management programs for different devices, such as air conditioners and water heaters, to shift energy use to times when electricity is in less demand. By doing this, your electric cooperative and Wabash Valley Power Alliance — your co-op’s wholesale power provider — can avoid building new power plants or purchasing energy on the market. This saves money for everyone.

You can contact your local electric co-op’s energy advisor for information on resources available to help you lower your home’s energy use. Your co-op may even offer programs and rebates for you to help keep a lid on long-term energy costs. Everyone has a role in reducing long-term energy costs for the local electric cooperative — which, in turn, also minimizes the expenses you will have to pay in the future. Call your local electric co-op for details, and you can visit for energy-saving tips and advice.