What are Peak Alerts?
Peak Alerts are issued when the demand for electricity is at an all-time high and rising toward a new peak. They typically occur on hot summer days from approximately 2 to 7 p.m., depending on weather conditions. We ask our members to reduce their energy consumption during this time in order to help avoid reaching a new peak. If you have a radio-controlled switch on your water heater or a Cool Returns switch on your central air conditioning system, it will be activated during summer Peak Alerts.
Avoiding a new electric demand peak is important. When a new peak is established, it may affect future transmission and generation costs. A Peak Alert does not indicate a shortage of electricity; it is a way for members to help hold down electric costs.
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 members by email or text (if provided) and post the Peak Alert message on SmartHub, 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, postpone household chores that use electricity (such as laundry, dishes, and baths or showers) and avoid charging an electric vehicle. These are just a few changes that members can implement to help reduce energy consumption during a peak.