What are Peak Alerts?
Peak Alerts typically occur on hot summer days from approximately 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. (depending on weather conditions). Peak Alerts are issued when the demand for electricity is at an all-time high and rising toward a new "peak". We ask our members to reduce their energy consumption during this time in order to help avoid reaching a new peak.
During peak demand times, it costs more for Buckeye Power, our power supplier, to generate the large amount of electricity being consumed. To meet the demand, Buckeye’s large base load power plants are running at full capacity. Additional peaking plants, which cost more to run, are fired up and brought online to help supply enough electricity. If new (higher) peaks are set, Buckeye will eventually have to build or purchase expensive excess generation to meet the demand.
A Peak Alert is not a shortage in electricity. It is a way to keep electric use down, which in turn keeps members’ rates lower.
Where do I look for a Peak Alert?
When the cooperative is notified that the demand for electricity is reaching an all-time high, we inform our highest energy users through an automated phone call and we post the Peak Alert message on our Facebook page and on the front page of our website.
How you can help:
1. Install a radio-controlled switch (RCS) on your electric water heater.
A radio-controlled switch can be installed on electric water heaters that are 50 gallons or more. During the peak alert, the elements on the water heater are shut off. Members receive a $4 credit on their bill each month for having a radio-controlled switch installed. We currently have over 5,500 members that have a water heater radio-controlled switch installed. A RCS wired to a water heater is typically located on the breaker panel or directly on the water heater. Left, a radio-controlled switch wired to a water heater.
2. Install a Cool Returns radio-controlled switch on your air conditioner.
A radio-controlled switch can be installed on central air conditioners, heat pumps and geothermal systems. During a peak alert, the compressor is cycled off and on for brief periods of time. Members receive a $100 one-time bill credit for having a Cool Returns switch installed and a $2 credit on their bill each month. A Cool Returns switch is typically located next to the air conditioning unit. Right, a radio-controlled switch wired to a heat pump.
3. Reduce your electric use during the Peak Alert.
Raise your thermostat 2-5 degrees, turn off lights in the home and postpone household chores that use electricity such as laundry, dishes, and baths or showers. These are just a few changes that members can implement to help reduce energy consumption during a peak.