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Winter weather energy consumption

Chris Meyers

 

Additionally, homes that heat with electricity will likely experience a consumption increase either because of primary heating such as electric furnaces or heat pumps or by using secondary heating such as space heaters. For the 2018 winter, the U.S. Energy Information Administration forecasts the average residential customer should expect higher heating expenditures caused by a greater heating demand and, to a lesser extent, higher fuel prices.

In the electric industry, the term “demand” means the amount of power needed to supply every electrical device running in a home or business at a specific point in time. It is the rate at which you consume electricity. This is how it works: if every electric-consuming device is operating at the same time, you set a higher demand for electricity. You may also have heard of the term “peak load,” which is the amount of power supplied at the time of highest aggregated demand for all consumers. Typically, the highest consumer demand and the utility peak load take place in the early morning hours (6 to 8 a.m.) during the winter.

To help curb costs related to peak demand charges, consumers can take a proactive role by controlling the times of the day in which they use electricity. Deciding when to use electricity is just as important as how much you use. For example, if it is possible to shift running the dishwasher to off-peak hours rather than on-peak hours, consumers will contribute to lessening peak load and are likely to realize savings on their electric bill. There are other measures consumers can take to save energy and money in the winter. The Department of Energy offers several tips, including: air seal and insulate your home, use programmable thermostats, use LED lighting, install ENERGY STAR doors and windows, and more.

As a member-owner of your electric co-op, you will find that your local co-op is the most trusted energy source for you and your local community. Your co-op is committed to delivering safe and reliable power to the membership at the most affordable price. To learn more about energy consumption, contact your local electric co-op.