Beat the Peak Program
Here’s how it works:
When Farmers’ Electric is approaching a period when energy use is expected to be very high, we’ll issue what is called a “Beat the Peak” alert. You may see or hear the announcements on social media, on our website, or via texts from the textcaster system. The Beat the Peak program aims to reduce electricity use during the time of day when power use peaks, such as winter mornings when temperatures are often at their lowest or late summer afternoons when temperatures are highest.
How does this help Members?
The idea behind Beat the Peak is to shift energy usage away from times when electricity demand is highest. Doing so could save the Cooperative and its Members significant money over time by keeping the wholesale power costs low and stable. This is a voluntary program, which benefits all Farmers’ Electric Cooperative Members.
How to conserve:
- In summer, raise your thermostat a few degrees
- In winter, lower your thermostat a few degrees
- Turn off any unnecessary lights
- Delay the use of major appliances like dishwashers and dryers until after the peak alert time period has passed.
- Delay activities that require hot water, such as washing clothes, taking showers, or washing dishes
- Consider grilling outside instead of using the oven or stove top!
Look for more ways you can help save energy usage by visiting our page 101 Easy Ways to Save.
Load Management through The Switch Team
One of the most effective means for reducing peaks and lowering system-wide demand is through energy management. Feasibility studies have shown that energy management can save your Cooperative millions of dollars over time, but this depends upon the cooperative efforts of everyone.
By participating in your Cooperative's Switch Team Program you can make a difference in the future of your electric rates for years to come.
Residential homes are considered the greatest source of potential reductions in peak energy demand. They are the largest contributors, as a whole, to the daily peak late in each day when water heating, air conditioning, and electric heating demands are the greatest. These units place the greatest demands for electricity during peak periods, yet they are the most easily managed.
By allowing your Cooperative to control your electric water heater and your air conditioner or the cooling side of a heat pump, you are taking an active role in helping to maintain your current electric rate for as long as possible.
How does The Switch Team work?
A radio signal is sent from our main office to Communication Carrier Units (CCU's) in each of our substations. The CCU interprets the signal and sends the signal through the power lines from the substation to your home. The Switch receives the signal from the power line and is activated.
A typical peak alert averages three hours in length. Farmers’ Electric Cooperative averages about three peak alerts a month over a 12-month period.
Water heaters are usually controlled in a rotation scenario. For example Group A and B may be turned off for one hour before being turned back on while Group C and D are rotated off for a period of time.
Air conditioners and heat pumps are controlled differently. The compressor is controlled 7 1/2 minutes in each 30-minute period. The Switch is attached to the unit's thermostat wire, which allows the fan to blow the cool air that is already in the house until the 7 1/2-minute time period has elapsed.
Farmers’ Electric does not control the heating side of heat pumps, furnaces or any other appliance in a Member's residence or business.