The cost of generating electricity is constantly changing. The kilowatt-hour delivered at dinner time costs more to generate than the one delivered at midnight. There are two major factors that affect the price of electricity – the price of fuel needed to generate power (such as coal or natural gas) and the demand for power at any given time. Simply put, when the demand for energy goes up, so do the costs. West Florida
Electric Cooperative (WFEC) works to reduce these peaks, helping to lower the cost of energy for our members.
WFEC, along with our wholesale power provider, PowerSouth, must match the amount of electricity
generated to the amount being consumed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. As consumers use
more electricity, we must increase the amount of resources available to supply that energy.
For us, peaks are most likely to occur on the coldest mornings in winter between 5:00 and 9:00 a.m. and on the hottest afternoons of the summer between 2:00 and 7:00 p.m. These are the times of day when our members use the most energy in their homes. Over time, your cooperative sets higher and higher peaks, creating the need to purchase capacity that is more expensive. Although our summers in Northwest Florida are hot and humid, WFEC continues to set a winter peak – the most electricity used at any one time of the year. 45512001
Because peak demand has a great influence on energy rates, all of our members have a stake in reducing the peak. All members can help lower peak demand by changing when we use electricity in our homes. By changing our usage patterns, we can all work together to lower energy costs.
During peak hours:
• Set your thermostat to 68 degrees during winter months.
• Don’t do laundry, run the dishwasher, iron, clean, etc. during non-peak hours. Peak hours are 5:00 – 9:00 a.m. during winter months.
• Avoid using the oven during peak hours. A microwave is much more efficient.
• Don’t take showers or baths.
• Unplug unnecessary electric appliances and equipment.
• Only use the cold water cycle to wash clothes.
• Conserve electricity by turning off lights when you leave a room.
Observing energy efficiency habits can also help reduce your energy usage. Here are some tips to consider
implementing into your family’s routine this winter:
• Add carpeting or rugs to retain heat and add comfort, especially if there is little or no floor insulation.
• Keep furniture, carpeting and curtains from blocking vents and return air ducts.
• Raise temperatures on your thermostat slowly to keep your bill lower. Quickly raising your heat pump’s
temperature activates the heat strip, which uses additional energy.
• Space heaters are great for spot heating, but they are much less energy efficient than heat pumps. If you
choose to use portable heaters, keep them away from flammable materials. Never use an oven to heat your home. Kitchen ovens were never designed for heating homes - only cooking food. With gas ranges, carbon
monoxide is a dangerous, odorless gas that could be hanging around in your kitchen. Carbon monoxide is deadly.
• Open drapes during the day to allow sunlight to naturally heat your home and close them at night to reduce the chill you may feel from cold windows.
• Keep heat in by closing your attic, basement, garage and exterior doors to prevent cold drafts.
• Change your air filters. Dirty filters make your heating system work harder, using more energy. Simply
replace your disposable filter or clean your washable one every month. Clean filters can also cut down on dust. 38497001
By reducing the amount of power consumed during peak periods, we can reduce our total wholesale power supply costs and help keep your rates low. For us, saving starts here.