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Extreme temperatures bring peak electric use

Norwalk Reflector Staff • Jan 6, 2014 at 2:47 PM

Firelands Electric Cooperative’s power supplier, Buckeye Power, is forecasting high power loads tonight and tomorrow Tuesday. Loads across the PJM region and Ohio are expected to the very high.

Firelands Electric Cooperative expects to implement load control of electric water heaters and resistance heating between the hours of 6 and 10 p.m. today and 7 to 9 a.m. Tuesday due to the extremely low temperatures, wind chills and loads.

Customers are encouraged to help lower demand by reducing their use of electricity wherever you can. They should avoid using major appliances during high demand times and lower their heating thermostat four degrees.

Because of the large geographic area served by the PJM Interconnection utility group, there is potential for wintertime demand peaks to occur involving Buckeye Power and Firelands Electric. Cooperative members may be affected by load management efforts in order to reduce high demand in the PJM Interconnection utility group and keep power costs as low as possible for all consumers in the group.

Higher demand for electricity and higher peak electric loads mean higher costs for all consumers. A peak of electrical demand is set when consumers of a particular electric utility use more electricity than at any other time in the past.  When a new peak is set, each of the 25 distribution electric cooperatives in Ohio, including Firelands Electric, is assigned a new demand charge on their bill from Buckeye Power, Inc.

The consumer's power bill is directly affected by this demand charge.  If a distribution cooperative is paying more for power, it's very likely that the cooperative will have to adjust its rates to cover increased costs at some point.

When demand for electricity is likely to reach record levels, peak alert bulletins posted on Firelands' website, www.FirelandsEC.com, and on its Facebook and Twitter pages.

Firelands Electric, A Touchstone Energy Partner, is a member-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperative providing electric service to approximately 9,000 homes and businesses in rural areas of Ashland, Huron, Lorain and Richland counties.

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