You probably don’t think very much about the electrical needs of your home or office but understanding just how each uses power is an important part of managing your electric bills.
Let’s take a look at some basic concepts when it comes to evaluating the use of electricity in your home or office, and how you can use them to save money on your electric bill.
When it comes to electric use, two important concepts come into play: base load and peak load. To understand each, we first have to understand what we mean by load.
In electrical terms, load is the amount of current being drawn by all the components using electricity in your home, including your appliances, electronic devices, home comfort equipment, etc.
In terms of power use, load can fall into two categories:
Why do the concepts of base load and peak load matter? It’s simple, really. It’s because electricity costs more during periods of peak loading.
Peak load days or peak load hours are times of maximum energy consumption on the grid. (Peak load days usually occur in summer, when A/C use is highest; peak load hours vary, but generally occur between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.)
At the end of the summer, your local distribution company identifies the highest peak times, and then reviews how much power you consumed during that time. This value is called your peak load contribution (PLC). Your PLC is used to calculate the portion of your mandatory fees, called capacity. Essentially, your capacity charge represents the cost of reserving enough energy on the grid to meet your maximum energy needs. It’s how the distribution company ensures that there will be adequate power supply to meet demand.
The bottom line: By reducing your PLC (and therefore your capacity numbers), you can reduce your bills!
So how do you reduce your electric usage during peak hours and days? Here are six tips:
Knowing about the difference between peak and base load demand is vital in saving money, so dig a little deeper with your bills to understand how they work! Want another way to save money? Make Discount Power your electricity provider! Enroll online today, or contact us to learn more!