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Trinity Valley EC News

When You Use Electricity Matters

Adjust your time of use and save

Did you know you can help lower power costs for your fellow Trinity Valley Electric Cooperative members by simply making a few small changes to your daily routine? The key to that help is an energy industry concept called time of use. Everyone can come out a winner by adjusting for the changes in the co-op’s power costs throughout the day.

The electric grid follows the basic economic laws of supply and demand. When a lot of people want something, it’s more expensive; when they don’t, it’s cheaper. That is why energy prices increase during certain times of the day, when more people are using it.

When people wake up in the morning and turn on their coffee makers, use hot water for showers, get ready for work and then get things going at the office or work site, demand for electricity swells as computers and buildings power up. This peak demand has to be met, and creates a spike in power costs. Electricity use also rises later in the day, when people return home from work and school, turn on their lights, cook dinner, and go about their evening routines. In all cases, infrastructure must be in place to meet that demand day after day. Those peaks in energy use get even higher when it is especially hot or cold outside, as air conditioners and heaters use extra power.

We work hard to minimize energy costs through our wholesale power supplier, and as a non-profit cooperative, we have an advantage in never needing to add a profit margin into the equation. But that also means that when TVEC members are able to help by lowering usage during times of peak power costs, everyone in the co-op can benefit.

Electric cooperatives are part of a complex industry that is changing fast, and energy prices change by the minute. You can help your co-op by simply washing and drying your clothes a couple of hours later than usual. That’s because, as a member of an electric cooperative, you and your neighbors own your power provider. Adjusting your time of use can translate to money saved for the co-op and all of its members.

So consider adjusting when and how you use electricity by doing some of those energy-intensive chores outside of peak hours to help level out those energy peaks and valleys.