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November 30, 2022

What Is Demand?

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Understanding How Your Electrical Use Impacts Costs

Energy demand is the term used to describe your use of electricity. It drives our whole energy system, impacting the total amount of energy used, the location and types of fuels used to generate your energy, and the technologies you use to consume our energy.

Peak demand occurs when you use the most electrical devices at your disposal simultaneously. Think of it as the highest amount of energy you demand from us all at once.

Like any product, when there is a higher demand, there is a higher cost for that product. As more and more members use electricity all at once, we are required to provide adequate energy to meet those needs – increasing our total cost of purchased power.

You can help lessen purchased power costs and reduce peak demand. Spread your use of electricity throughout the day, as opposed to using energy all at once.

peak demand comparison graph

Tips to Help Spread Your Energy’s Peak Demand to Off-Peak Times

Avoid heavy energy use during peak demand times of 3pm to 10pm.

Set smart appliances to run early in the morning or late at night.

Control smart thermostats to begin heating or cooling your home before 3pm.

Schedule your electric vehicle to start charging after midnight.

Unplug appliances or turn off power cords to limit ghost charging – when electrical products consume energy even when turned off.

Reduce your overall energy consumption by installing LED lights, using energy efficient appliances, upgrading insulation, and sealing windows and doors.

When we all do our part to reduce peak energy demand, we can help maintain lower energy costs.

How to Know Your Peak Demand

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You can find your peak demand listed in the usage comparison chart on your printed bill. Look for the green circles at the top to show your highest kW and find ‘Power Peak’ to see the exact date and time of your highest electrical consumption during the billing cycle.

Through your online account in the app or your preferred web browser, you can use the Usage Explorer to view your peak demand. Navigate to My Usage and select Usage Explorer, then select a date range, under Usage Type click Demand (kW). Your daily peak demand appears as a yellow line. Look for peaks to identify days on which your demand was high and use the tips above to help spread your energy use throughout the day.

As your trusted source of information, we have Energy Experts here to help you manage your energy to be more efficient with your electricity use and can help you lower your monthly electric bill. Reach out to us during normal business hours by calling 800.432.1012. You can also email us anytime with questions, comments, or concerns at pvrea@pvrea.coop.

The US Department of Energy also has a library of information to help people be more efficient with their energy use. Find their information and resources online by clicking here.

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