Wait 'til 8
One of the terms you hear frequently by utilities concerns the use of electricity during periods of high demand or "peak alerts." Utilities use various methods to lower electrical demand during the "peak alerts" including the Load Management Program in effect here at Richland Electric Cooperative and the voluntary reduction of electric usage by members. Generally, "peak alerts" at R.E.C. occur between 5 p.m. - 8 p.m., although they may occur at other times.
Summer "Peak Alerts"
During the summer, the increased use of air conditioning in the R.E.C. service territory causes the cooperative to experience "peak alerts" on the hottest summer days. This is not a daily occurrence, although "peak alerts" can occur on consecutive days if the temperature and electrical load on the system remain at a high level. Although there is no set limit on when a "peak alert" can occur, generally if the temperature approaches 90 ° F, the chances are much greater that the co-op needs to reduce load.
Winter "Peak Alerts"
In the wintertime, the increased use of space heaters, engine heaters, heat tapes and electric heat adds to the electrical demand of R.E.C. As the temperature decreases to near zero, the demand raises and increases the likelihood of a "peak alert."
"Peal Alert" Messages
When R.E.C. becomes aware that load reduction is needed due to heavy demand, a "Peak Alert" message is broadcast on two area radio stations. WRCO in Richland Center and WVRQ in Viroqua air the "Peak Alert" messages several times each hour upon their notification by the co-op of the high electrical demand periods.
How can you help?
Participating in the Load Management Program of R.E.C. is one of the ways you can help. Voluntarily lowering your energy usage (Wait 'til 8) when you hear a "Peak Alert" message is also very beneficial.