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Make a difference: Reduce your peak load

11 March 2013

Despite this past summer’s record heat- Xcel had 1% lower electricity sales due to a bad economy and conservation efforts. Majority of conservation efforts are done by residential customers. One of the largest affect these conservation efforts have is on the the utility’s peak load. Reducing peak load can have a big influence on how utilities deal with increased electricity use in the future!

CEE’s own Innovation Exchange wrote a great blog explaining this in a basic sense.

What is peak demand?

Peak demand is when a household uses their highest amount of electricity. The graph below lays out when a typical home’s peak demand is. Electricity use peaks at 1, 7 and 10:30 pm- which is when many of us are making dinner, watching TV and doing laundry- thus using the most energy.

As a population peaks look more like the second graph. The top, pink line is the highest energy use- an afternoon in July.

Peak Load Power Plants:

An import aspect of peak load is that utilities have power plants built especially to deal with peak load electricity use. To try and avoid building more power plants to accommodate population growth, utilities are looking into is demand response (shifting how we use electricity), and efficiency.

How YOU can help!

Shift your electricity use! Schedule appliances such as your dishwasher or washing machine, to turn on at night or early afternoon. You can also charge battery powered electronics at night. And as always you can cut down on your phantom load to try and reduce your overall electricity use!

Power and Energy primer: Part 2-Loads and Peaks

Power and Energy primer: Par 2- Load Curves and Generation

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