When the temperatures heat up, people turn down their air conditioning and increase the electricity demand. Stillwater Power utility is hoping the extreme heat is short lived, but until then it has issued a peak usage alert.

After issuing the peak usage alert, Stillwater Power is asking customers to cut down on electricity usage during peak hours, and instead use appliances that consume large amounts of electricity before 10 a.m. or after 8 p.m. as an effort to cut down on peak time.

“What we’re asking people to do with the ‘Peak Alert’ is to be aware of their daily electric use and possibly shift energy intensive household tasks to other times in the day when the demand for electricity is lower,” said Jeff Tullis, Stillwater Power director.

Tullis said the utility’s electricity provider, Grand River Dam Authority, issued a notice early Monday notifying the city “that replacement energy normally purchased by Stillwater Power to help offset our peak demand would not be available beginning at noon on Monday or through the rest of the coming week.”

Tullis noted GRDA experienced constraints in making power readily available and the city has been running Boomer Lake Station since noon Monday to help “shave the city’s peak (usage) during the heat of the day” and reduce the wholesale power costs from GRDA.

By supplementing the purchased power by running Boomer Lake Station, Tullis said the bell-shaped peak demand curve would somewhat flatten, and if customers observe the peak alert it will be reflected in savings on their next utility bill.

In addition to helping save money now, Tullis said utilizing Boomer Lake Station has future repercussions as the city’s contract with GRDA contains a provision where the city’s minimum monthly demand cannot fall below one-half of our annual peak demand.

“What this means is if we set a new peak demand in the summer then our cost of power during the upcoming winter months will be higher as well since winter load would normally drop below the new minimum demand amount,” said Tullis.

While air conditioners and industrial uses for power can’t be avoided during the day, Stillwater Power suggests using hair dryers, washing machines and irons during the off peak times to help lower electricity demand and power bills.

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