Peak days, which occur on just a few days every year, drastically impact the affordability and sustainability of the electric grid. To meet the extreme electric demand, the grid operator—ISO-New England—turns to “peaker plants,” the power generators of last resort. These power plants are generally the dirtiest and most expensive, running on gas and oil and selling their power at extremely high rates.
Visit Shave the Peak and sign up for alerts from Green Energy Consumers Alliance and brainstorm in advance what you can do to reduce your electric demand at peak periods.
You can also check out ISO-NE’s real-time website to check out forecasted vs. actual electricity usage for any given day: ISO New England – Real-Time Maps and Charts.
Actions to reduce energy use to help shave the peak:
- TURN DOWN AC – The easiest way to save energy during peak events is by turning down air conditioning. When you are not in your home, turn air conditioning off. It doesn’t really take that long to recover a comfortable temperature when you get home.
- TURN OFF LIGHTS – Turn unneeded lights off at work and rely on natural light. Please consult with your colleagues before turning off all the overhead lights.
- SKIP THE AC AND USE A FAN – Use fans whenever possible.
- CHANGE YOUR ROUTINE SLIGHTLY – Avoiding using large appliances. Wait until after 8 or 9pm to run the dishwasher, turn on the laundry, or cook in electric ovens. If you have an electric car, make sure that you charge it before or after the peak, not during.
- TAKE A TECH BREAK – Take a break from TV, computers, and other electronic devices for the afternoon—or charge portable devices beforehand and run them off of battery during the peak. Turn computers all the way off when you are done with them or at least turn off the monitor.
- MAKE IT A HABIT – Conserve energy all year round–not just during peaks but pay the most attention then.