If you knew an easy way to help West Florida Electric Cooperative (WFEC) keep your bills as affordable as possible, would you take action? Together with other members, you can hold down a major cost that impacts your bill: the cost of wholesale power.
It all begins with “peaks.” When many people use electricity at the same time, the demand for power rises, sometimes leading to the highest or “peak” demand of the day, week, month or year. Peaks normally occur on cold winter mornings when people are getting ready for work and school, as well as on hot summer afternoons when more homes and businesses are using energy for cooling. Peaks usually only last for a few hours. You may be wondering why peaks matter and how they affect the price you pay for electricity. Peaks cause an increase in your cooperative’s largest expense — the cost of generating power. This increase can, in turn, cause your electric bill to rise.
It’s not just about how much electricity you use but when you use it. During peak hours, simply delay chores that require electricity. Shift your use of large appliances and hot water to off-peak times. In summer, WFEC's peak times are between 2 and 6 p.m. In winter, the co-op's peak times are from 5-9 a.m. If you shift your schedule and pay attention to when you are using energy, you’ll be helping to reduce the cost of wholesale power and delaying the need for new power plants.
The good news is that you can take easy actions, like adjusting your thermostat a few degrees, turning off unneeded lights and switching off electronics to help keep those costs low. More good news? The more members who take steps to help hold down costs, the more ALL members benefit. Taking a break from chores during peak hours gives you some time to relax or enjoy outdoor activities.
Here’s what you can do to help reduce peak demand:
- Adjust your thermostat. Bump it up a few degrees in summer and down in winter.
- Delay the use of hot water. Set your dishwasher to run during an off-peak time and postpone baths and showers.
- Give those large appliances a rest. Delay using the washing machine, dryer, dishwasher and stove until off-peak times.
- Turn off unneeded lights and electronics, like gaming systems.
It may not seem like much, but when you and other members take these simple steps to reduce power use during peak times, it helps even out the need for electricity. Most importantly, you’ll be doing your part to keep power costs as low as possible, not just for you but for all members. That’s a win-win!
We’re sharing easy steps that let you partner with us in keeping our costs — and your bills — as low as possible. It’s another way your hometown electric cooperative is always here for you.