The continuing rise in power cost is putting pressure on our current rates. Each month, the cost of power exceeds the amount we charge members. Despite our best efforts to control costs, we find it necessary to engage a third-party consultant to conduct a cost-of-service study. The study will determine if a rate increase is needed to meet revenue requirements and expenses.
Albemarle EMC has not had a rate increase since 2012. Your co-op is asking members to help lower usage during peak demand, which will save on power costs and hopefully delay the need for a rate increase.
On Jan. 1, Albemarle EMC will be launching a Beat The Peak program. Members who participate will be alerted by text message when a peak time period or time of high energy use across our co-op is expected. Peak-use times are typically a few hours and occur only a few times a month. We will ask our members to join our efforts to lower costs by reducing their energy use during those peak times, which are often in the mornings or evenings. Energy reduction methods include reducing the use of hot water, delaying the use of a stove or adjusting your thermostat.
A large part of our power supply cost is determined by energy used during high-energy use times. If we can reduce the energy use during these few hours, we can reduce our power costs and save our members money.
Peak usage typically occurs during times of extreme outside temperatures, when a majority of members’ electricity usage increases all at once. Because additional generation has to be brought online to meet the spike in demand, Albemarle EMC must pay more for wholesale power, based on that higher demand rate.
"Energy use during times of peak power consumption increases what your co-op pays for electricity, so anything members can do to help reduce power use during peak times will also help delay a future rate increase," said Albemarle EMC General Manager Gary Ray.
Members who prefer not to participate in the Beat The Peak program may opt out by replying to the Beat The Peak text notification with the word "quit."