Extreme peak demands occur only 100 hours each year, or about 1 percent of the time, between late May and early September during hot, humid weather.
To accommodate demand, additional power plants are on stand-by ready to operate during these hours. These back-up plants often run on dirtier fuels – such as oil – that produce more air pollution and offer power at a price that drives up the cost of electricity.
“By controlling power use and waiting until after 8 p.m. to use larger appliances and equipment that doesn’t impact comfort, like dishwashers and pool pumps, Connecticut residents can help minimize the use of backup power plants, relieve stress on the electric grid, and have a positive impact on air quality,” says Robert Klee, state Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection.
To reduce energy usage, Energize Connecticut representatives recommend lessening the use of discretionary appliances and electronics during peak hours. Examples include:
- Running pool pumps earlier in the day or later in the evening.
- Using dishwashers and laundry machines and dryers in the morning or later in the day.
- Programming thermostats to increase the temperature when a home is not occupied.
- Using energy efficient products like ENERGY STAR LED lights and ENERGY STAR air conditioning.
Also, customers in United Illuminating service territory have the option of subscribing to Rate RT, or time-of-day use rate, which provides a customer the opportunity to lower their annual electricity costs by using electricity when it costs less.
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