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beat the peak


Members help keep costs low

You can help keep energy costs low by participating in CHELCO’s “Beat the Peak” program, which is designed to save energy and help CHELCO manage the cost of wholesale power.

The idea is to curtail usage of electrical devices or appliances during critical peak times. Members are notified by phone, and announcements are made to the media before the peak time occurs, so they have adequate time to react. Normally, these peak periods occur in the winter on the coldest mornings of the year.

Members can conserve energy by:

  • postponing showers, dishes and laundry
  • adjusting the thermostat to a lower setting
  • turning off unnecessary lights and appliances at peak times.

 “In the winter of 2014, we avoided hundreds of thousands of dollars in extra costs that would have been passed on to members,” said Vice President of Member Services Steve Wolfrom.   “A portion of CHELCO’s monthly wholesale power bill is based on the peak demand for electricity,” said Wolfrom. “Therefore, controlling peak demand reduces these charges. This is important to members because any fluctuations in what CHELCO pays for electricity is passed on to members through the wholesale power cost adjustment.”

Usually, CHELCO is a winter peaking system. But it is possible that when there are mild winters, CHELCO could have a summer peak. Peak hours in summer are late afternoon and early evening.

When a peak is forecasted, CHELCO sends out automated phone calls, emails and news releases asking members to conserve during certain time frames. Additionally, several commercial members who have large demand are asked to voluntarily run their generators to contribute to the conservation effort.

“We will keep members updated and give them tips on how they can assist. It is not something we worry about every day, but we do use media, email, social media and phone calls to announce important demand events,” said Wolfrom.


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