PLYMOUTH, NH – In an effort to curb the impact of rising peak period electricity costs in New England, New Hampshire Electric Cooperative (NHEC) is offering its members new incentives to reduce their power consumption when regional demand for electricity is highest.
The Go Beyond the Peak! program rewards members for curbing their usage during peak demand periods. Members can choose from three options: installing load control devices on appliances and heating or cooling systems, a new rate plan that charges daily on-peak and off-peak rates, or a voluntary load reduction alert that notifies them when peak demand events are occurring. The ultimate goal of Go Beyond the Peak! is to reduce electric rates for all members by reducing peak demands. Complete program information and enrollment are available at www.gobeyondthepeak.com.
Peak demand events occur infrequently, usually during especially hot or cold weather, but they have a disproportionate impact on electric rates. NHEC must pay “capacity cost” to generation and transmission providers for the capacity to deliver peak amounts of electricity, even though that quantity is only needed for approximately 150 hours per year. If NHEC can reduce the amount of power its members need during peak demand periods, it can reduce rates year-round by reducing capacity costs.
Go Beyond the Peak! combines financial incentives with public awareness to encourage NHEC members to reduce their electric usage during peak demand periods. Go Beyond the Peak! consists of three voluntary programs: Peak Plus, Peak Planner and Peak Days.
Peak Plus (Direct Load Control):
Members who enroll in Peak Plus will have load-control devices installed on appliances in their home (window air conditioners, central air conditioners, water heaters, storage space heaters, other resistance space heaters). During peak demand hours, NHEC will send a signal to the appliance via an internet connection, which will reduce the amount of energy the appliance consumes. Once the peak demand event is over, a signal will be sent to the device to resume usage as normal. The member will receive a seasonal incentive from NHEC for each appliance he or she allows NHEC to control.
Peak Planner (Time of Use Rates):
Members who enroll in Peak Planner will pay electric rates that vary by time of day between ON-PEAK hours and OFF-PEAK hours. On-peak rates will be higher than the standard residential rate and will be in effect from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. on summer weekdays, and from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on winter weekdays. Usage during all other hours, including weekends and holidays, will be charged at off-peak rates, which will be lower than the standard residential rate. In addition, there will be a CRITICAL PEAK rate that is charged only during five-hour periods when demand for electricity is unusually high. Critical Peak rates will be significantly higher than the standard residential rate (more than $5 per kWh), but will only occur a maximum of 15 times during the summer season. NHEC will notify participants by email, text or voice call the day before an expected Critical Peak event so that they can plan to reduce their usage during those hours.
Peak Days (Peak Demand Alerts)
Manage the peak and we all save – that’s the message NHEC is using to encourage enrollment in Peak Days. Members who enroll in this program will receive email, text or voice alerts the day before anticipated Critical Peak events so that they can plan to voluntarily reduce their electric usage. If we manage the peak, we all win!
NHEC is a member-owned electric distribution cooperative serving 83,000 homes and businesses in 115 New Hampshire municipalities.