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Steps to “Beat the Peak” Energy Usage

There is two peak periods for energy use, winter and summer.  “Summer peak times generally occur May through October between the hours of 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Winter peak times are between November and April from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m.”

For all intensive purposes, power users should note the highest strains on the electric grid occur when consumers are getting ready for their day in the morning and when they get home from work during the evening. “Peak” energy hours are the time of day during which the most electricity is used – typically daytime. During peak energy hours additional power plants, “peak-hour plants”, are needed, which is typically is the most dirty and costly sources. Energy produced from these sources significantly impacts the cost of your electricity as well as generates more green-house gas emissions during the worst period possible.

Here are a few tips to “Beat the Peak”:

  1. Set the thermostat to 78 degrees or higher. Greater peak-shaving can occur by increasing (during the summer) or lowering (during the winter) the setting by two to three degrees during the peak time.
  2. Delay use of major home appliances ie. dryers, dishwashers, ovens and washing machines.
  3. Postpone using hot water so that the demand for the water heater is reduced during the peak times, particularly if the source of heat is an electric tankless water heater, which significantly increases demand.

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