BEAT THE PEAK: Keep electric rates stable

By B.J. Myers, Administrative Assistant/Communications Specialist

As temperatures climb this summer, Southeastern Indiana REMC is asking members to “Beat the Peak” by decreasing their power usage when demand and prices are at their highest.

Have you ever turned up the heat or air conditioning on a really cold or hot day? Doing this just uses a little more energy, but there are some days when everyone turns up their systems. When this happens, the co-op needs to buy more electricity just when demand and prices are highest – and that raises everyone’s bills.

There are two major factors that affect the price of electricity – the price of fuel such as coal or natural gas needed to generate power, and the demand for power. The demand for electricity on our system is greatest in the hot summer months of June, July, and August between the peak period hours of 4-8 p.m. and the cold winter months of December, January, and February between the peak period hours of 7-10 a.m. and 6-9 p.m.

Overnight, your home doesn’t use a lot of electricity. But when you wake, make breakfast, and take showers, your power use goes up. The same thing happens again when you get home in the afternoon and crank up the air, do the laundry, and watch TV. And the same thing is happening in your neighbors’ homes, too. All that demand for electricity puts extra demands on our power plants. We call that a peak, and on days of really high demand those peaks cost all of us more money.

During peak demand periods, we have to pay two to three times the normal price per kilowatt-hour. We must pass these higher costs on to our members, which has an impact on rates. Southeastern Indiana REMC launched the Beat the Peak program in addition to our other load management programs (i.e. Time-of-Use rates, Demand Response Units, Generac Generator program) to help take control of higher power costs.

By lowering the amount of power being consumed across the system when energy prices are high, you are helping to lower the Co-op’s cost for power. Because Southeastern Indiana REMC is a not-for-profit utility, those savings are passed on to you in the form of stable rates. You will not see a credit on your bill for conserving energy nor will you be charged more for power if you do not conserve. This is a voluntary program, which benefits all Co-op members.

Here’s how it works:

When the Co-op is approaching a period when the price for energy is expected to be very high, we’ll issue what is called a “Beat the Peak” alert. You may see or hear the announcements on social media, radio stations, or receive a notification (text, email, phone call) from the Cooperative asking members to reduce energy consumption for a specific period of time.

Your participation in the Beat the Peak program is important. Every little bit helps reduce the need for energy generation, keeping energy costs more affordable and reducing carbon emissions for a cleaner world.

How you can help

Sign up for Beat the Peak alerts.

Conserve electricity when you receive a Beat the Peak alert.

  • In the summer, raise your thermostat 4 degrees.
  • In the winter, lower your thermostat 4 degrees.
  • Use major appliances like dishwashers and dryers before or after peak periods.
  • Take hot showers/baths before or after peak periods.
  • Turn off any unnecessary lights.
  • Shut off any unnecessary electronics.
  • Consider grilling outside or using the microwave instead of the oven or stove top.
  • Avoid watering outside and running your well during peak times.

Sign up for the Beat the Peak program and we’ll send you alerts on days when we expect a big peak. All you have to do is use a little less energy. By doing a few little things, we’ll all save because together we have the power to “Beat the Peak”.

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