Your cooperative is currently experiencing normal energy demand. No special energy saving measures are necessary.
Your cooperative is currently experiencing elevated energy demand. Special energy saving measures may be necessary in the near future.
Your cooperative is currently experiencing peak energy demand. Please save energy wherever possible.
Understanding Energy and Demand
We have talked a lot about the demand on our energy resources, especially when demand is greatest during extreme and prolonged weather events.
Let’s use a lightbulb to shed some light on the concept of demand. We’ll assume a lightbulb “consumes”100 watts per hour for our example. If a light bulb stays on for 10 hours, it “demands” a total of 1,000 watts of energy, or 1 kilowatt, from the generation station producing the electricity. If you turn on ten 100-watt lightbulbs in your home for one hour, you are also consuming 1 kilowatt of electricity, but you are placing a greater “demand” on the utility to have those watts available to you in one hour instead of ten. This requires the generation and transmission supplier (in our case, NIPCO) to provide more power in less time to meet the demand. How much energy you use overall is important, but it’s also important to understand when you use energy throughout the day and how that impacts power generation and supply.
With extreme weather that has impacted large regions of the nation, electric demand (mostly due to electric heat) has reached historic highs. To put it simply, there was not enough available generation/supply to meet this exceptionally high electric demand.
By scaling back our demand on the energy grid and staggering energy use, we can work together to ensure that we can avoid power outages during periods of extreme cold or excessive heat.
Find out more about the demand for electricity and how demand affects pricing. Our cooperative purchases some electricity from Basin Electric Power Cooperative; Basin Electric produced this short (1.5-minute) video to explain demand response programs, and how your participation in our Switch Makes Cents program can help us all.
Ten Ways to Conserve Energy During Peak Usage
Even if it is off, electricity is brought to the outlet where appliances are plugged in and unplugging them saves a lot of electricity.
Switch light bulbs to eco-friendly bulbs. They save electricity, and money, while still giving as much light as other bulbs.
Turn off lights and fans when leaving a room even if you are coming back in a few minutes. This can save seven dollars a month.
Washing clothes in cold water can save electricity and an average nine dollars per month. That's a savings of $108 per year.
Insulate the house to keep warmth in during the winter and cool during the summer.
Clean the lint filter every time before drying clothes to ensure they will dry faster. Change furnace filters every three months to allow better air flow and protect your furnace from additional strain. This will save time, money, and electricity.
Recycle that old fridge. Old refrigerators use about three times more energy than newer, energy efficient models.
If your dryer has an auto-sensor, it can conserve energy by not continuing to run when clothes are fully dry.
Update the air conditional to use 14% less energy when cooling or heating your home.
Off-set peak energy by setting your dishwasher, clothes washer, or dryer to run after 10:00 pm. Shower after 8:00 pm to allow water heater to recycle after peak