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It’s no surprise that electricity use fluctuates throughout the day based on member demand. The highest periods of energy use are known as “peak hours.” Because these shift during various seasons, it’s important to know when you can use winter off-peak times to your advantage to help save on your energy bill.

Peak usage is different for summer and winter. During summer months, electricity use increases as the day progresses and outside temperatures rise. Usage peaks between 5 and 6 p.m. as people start getting home but then drops off as the sun sets and temperatures decrease; air conditioners are not running as often. 

In the winter, usage is at its highest in the early morning hours, as people begin their day — turning on lights, turning up thermostats, and taking hot showers. Once homes and buildings are warmed up and temperatures outside have risen, usage declines. When people return to their homes after work, the electricity load ramps up again as families are warming up their homes and cooking their meals. 

The winter months can be more draining on electric loads. When cold outside, people tend to stay home more. Space heaters and electric blankets are in use more than usual. And you’re probably taking more hot showers and baths than you would during the summer, giving your water heater a workout. This all adds up to using more power.
Saving energy, however, isn’t difficult. Perform some of your daily tasks, like running the dishwasher, doing laundry, or charging your electric vehicle during off-peak hours. In a similar vein, plug electronic equipment, such as computers, printers, TVs, and power tools into a power strip, then turn it off during peak hours.  

If you have a programmable thermostat, adjust the settings so your heating system syncs up with the off-peak periods. Use automatic timers to run hot tubs, water heaters, holiday lights, and other appliances in the same way. 

While CREC does not have time-of-use rates, shifting your energy use to off-peak times helps to keep the cooperative’s overall peak down and results in lower energy bills for everyone. Watch this short video for more or call us at 800-392-3709; we’re here to help!