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The official voice of West Florida Electric Cooperative:

November 2023

How Timing Affects Power Prices

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Timing is everything, according to some. That is certainly true when it comes to the price we pay for power. Like gas at the pump, or tickets to an amusement park, prices increase when demand is high. Try buying gas when lines are long, and you will pay more for it. The same is true for various food products, too. Demand drives prices.

While we do everything we can to keep rates as low as possible, there is a way you can help, as well. It will not cost you a thing, and it should not inconvenience you, either. You simply join other members in shifting or delaying the times you use electricity. It is all based on what we call "peak demand times." These are periods when many people are using electricity at the same time. Electricity is more expensive during these "peaks." "Peaks" typically happen on cold winter mornings from 5-9 a.m.

During the winter, you can make the biggest impact by lowering your thermostat a few degrees in the morning. Delaying chores that use large appliances until after 9 a.m. helps, as does setting your dishwasher to run later in the day. You could hold off washing or drying clothes until after the peak time has passed, too. If you can postpone chores that require hot water when a peak demand time is expected, you will help hold down the cost of electricity. Even turning off a light is helpful.

If you and your family members can shower in the evening during winter, that will also help shave the peak. Showering also helps use less water than a typical soaking bath. These simple actions may not seem like much, but they are energy-saving measures.

Peak demands for electricity directly affect power costs. That is because we must have enough power generation available to serve all members at that moment when demand for electricity is at its highest. This ensures we have a continuous, reliable supply of power around the clock.

Making these shifts when you use electricity helps reduce the overall demand for it and helps manage power costs for all members. It also reduces the need for new power generation of any kind, whether renewable, nuclear, or fossil fuels. Reduce peak demand and help keep wholesale power costs low. Finally - a reward for postponing those chores.