Peak Demand and Load Control - How Do You Beat the Peak? 

Staying in the Know Can Win You $300 - and Keep Your Energy Rates Stable

When there is high use of electricity for heating or cooling in extreme temperatures, it is likely the demand for power will spike higher than our typical highest use of the season and reach a "Peak Demand" level, which can drive up energy costs. 

To combat this, Hancock-Wood enacts what is called "Load Control," which is the remote activation of switches many of our members ask to have placed on their appliances such as water heaters, heat pumps, air conditioners or other high-energy users. There is no cost for this, in fact, our members are PAID to do it. BEAT THE PEAK HERE!

When the likelihood of a high-energy-use scenario exists, we announce a Peak Demand Alert.  If the scenario escalates to a level where controlling is necessary to keep energy costs stabilized, Hancock-wood will issue a Load Control Alert and enact these remote controls. These timeframes are typically from 6-9 am or 3-6 pm. Load Control can only activate radio-controlled switches (RCS) affixed to appliances of participating Members. T

Heating and cooling equipment switches are activated in 8-10 minute intervals, no longer than 24 minutes each hour, so comfort in the home is maintained. Water heater switches disable the unit’s heating elements for the entire length of the load control session.   

A peak demand, precipitating load control, does NOT mean there is a shortage in electricity – just an opportunity to control costs. A portion of the amount Hancock-Wood pays for electricity generation and transmission is determined by the demand our Members place on available electricity. By controlling the peaks in this demand, we can save our members money over the long term.

In the past, Hancock-Wood utilized ads to announce when peaks have the potential to occur. However, as our members began to utilize electronic devices for faster information, we now issue an email alert to those who sign up for these alerts and follow up with instant updates on Facebook and Twitter.

Sign up for these alerts by clicking here or paste this link into your browser:

Then, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and you will automatically be kept informed of the demand and control process and timing. Social media links are at the top right of our website for easy access.

We also ask our members to conserve electricity during that critical peak demand time in order to control the level of demand and, therefore, the cost of power. When a peak demand occurs, you can help control this level in three ways:

  1. Reduce lighting use by 50% or more.
  2. Change thermostat settings by about 3 to 5 degrees to keep it slightly less cool in summer and slightly less warm in winter.
  3. Postpone major work that uses electricity, such as baths, electric hair drying, laundry, and electric dishwasher use.

Members with radio-controlled switches installed in their home appliances are likely to see these switches activate during a Load Control period. This action actually is our last line of defense to avoid unwanted rising peaks. 

Any questions? Feel free to call us at 800-445-4840 or email us at