Voluntary program saves customers money
(June 1, 2015) — The Town of Berlin Electric Utility is launching a Beat the Peak program on June 1, 2015, to reduce energy consumption and costs, announced Mayor Gee Williams.
“Beat the Peak is a voluntary energy conservation program that encourages limited energy usage, especially during peak times. The program saves the Electric Utility and its customers money,” said Mayor Williams. “With a little extra effort, everyone will be better off,” he added.
“Peak times are when our electric utility is purchasing wholesale power at the highest prices. By cutting back on the amount of wholesale power purchased during these peak, high-priced periods, we can reduce our total wholesale power costs,” said Town Administrator Laura Allen. “Reductions in wholesale power costs are passed through to the customers in the Power Cost Adjustment (PCA)” she added.
The demand for electricity in the summer months is highest during extremely hot temperatures; typically, the peak period is from 2 p. m. – 6 p. m. Demand in the winter months is greatest during extreme cold temperatures, especially between the peak periods of 7 a. m. – 10 a. m. and 7 p. m. – 10 p. m.
“We should know about 24 hours in advance of an upcoming peak. We’ll use a combination of the CodeRed system, press releases, our website and social media to get the word out along with a request to reduce energy consumption,” stated Ms. Allen.
“It is in everyone’s interest to use energy resources wisely,” stated Electric Utility Director Tim Lawrence. “We encourage our customers to examine their energy use and take steps to conserve on a regular basis. At times of peak electricity use, it’s even more important to conserve,” he added.
Steps customers can take to reduce their energy usage include: shut off lights when not needed; unplug small appliances and electric chargers (especially those with small lights); set the thermostat as high in the summer and as low in the winter as comfortable; cover drafty windows; turn off televisions, computers, radios, and other electronic devices when not being used; and do laundry and other household chores requiring electricity during non-peak hours.
“As a community-owned electric system, it is important that we work together to keep our electric rates as low as possible,” said Mayor Williams. “Our customers have the opportunity to make a difference in their system and their electric charges by conserving energy during peak periods. These small steps can really add up,” he added.