It Matters How You Use Electricity
Measured in kilowatts, the Power Peak (otherwise known as demand) is the maximum amount of electrical power demanded from your home at a particular time, within your last billing period.
The more power you use in your home in one instant – like when you run your dishwasher, dry a load of laundry, and run your vacuum cleaner at the same time - the more generation resources and distribution equipment (think coal, solar power, power lines, substations) it takes to meet your electricity needs in that instant.
Starting soon, residential members will be able to view their “Power Peak” during a billing period. PVREA is providing each members’ Power Peak on the bill because it gives more insight to members about how they are using electricity.
How can I control or lower my Power Peak?
Instead of using multiple appliances at once, stagger the use of major appliances throughout your day. For example, run a load of laundry in the morning instead of in the evening when you are using other appliances. Make it easier by utilizing technology that helps you remember to offset energy use like timers, delay start settings, mobile apps, and programmable thermostats, like a Nest thermostat!
Here are some helpful tips to manage your Power Peak and be an energy conserver!
- Run the dishwasher after you’re done cooking dinner. Even better, use the delay start feature so your dishwasher runs later at night while everyone is in bed.
- Start your clothes washer before you go to bed in the evening, and then run the dryer after everyone has finished cooking breakfast the following morning.
- Grill outside or use small cooking appliances if the air conditioning is running. (Bonus: you won’t overheat your kitchen on a hot day!)
- Set your electric vehicle charger to run after you’ve turned off other appliances for the day.
In the beginning of 2019, your electric bill will show what your Power Peak, or demand, was for the previous billing cycle. The Power Peak was your highest 15-minute interval of energy consumption during that billing period, which is measured in kilowatts (kW). PVREA is providing each members’ Power Peak on the bill because it gives more information to members about how they are using electricity.
Starting this year, members will also be able to see their Power Peak, or demand, in their online account.
Major appliances used for heating and cooling, cooking, and laundry are your home’s largest energy consumers and have the greatest impact on your overall energy usage and demand. The more appliances or devices you run at the same time, the higher your Power Peak.
Depending on your home, family size and appliances, your Power Peak will vary, and your highest Power Peak may be different from other members.
In the summer months, your Power Peak may be higher due to air conditioning, pool pumps, fountains, hot tubs, irrigation motors or power tools and compressors.
In the winter, Power Peak is driven by electric heat or space heaters, stock tank heaters, heat lamps, electric fireplaces, and increased usage for holiday lighting, cooking and entertaining.
Understanding the wattage ratings of your household appliances will help you take even more control of your energy use. Listings of common wattage ratings can be found by searching online.