A Conversation with Members on Beat the Peak - Carolina Country
February 2022

Jimmy Green sticks a note on his refrigerator to remind him about a Beat the Peak alert.

We’ve been asking members to voluntarily limit energy usage during Beat the Peak alerts, issued when we are expecting peak demand. In the winter the timeframe is usually from 6 a.m.–9 a.m. We ask for participation because the rate we pay for wholesale power for any given month is based on the highest hour of peak demand for that month, and we have the power to collectively reduce that rate by lowering that peak. This helps avoid or reduce future rate increases. We talked to members Jimmy Green and Heather Smith, who are also BEMC employees, about why it’s important to them.

Q: How, and why, do you participate in Beat the Peak alerts during the winter?

Jimmy: Since we usually know about the alert by email or post the evening before, I make a plan to participate. I normally program my thermostat to lower the temperature while I’m sleeping anyway, and for Beat the Peak alerts I forgo having it raise the temperature when I get up. I have it go back to regular settings at 9 a.m. instead. If it’s a weekday, I do what I need to do to get ready for work, but nothing extra like running a load of laundry or dishes. If it’s on the weekend, same thing, nothing extra until 9 a.m. I might stick a note on my fridge the night before to remind myself.

Heather: Not everyone wants to adjust their thermostat. I participate by holding off on using major appliances during that time too. It’s collectively what we do that makes a difference. It’s true that if most people take at least some action during the alert, even turning off one lightbulb they don’t really need at the time, we can make a big impact on our power costs that month.

Jimmy: That’s right. The good thing is, the BEMC system has the capacity and is available when we need it, the power supplied during peak times just comes at a cost to all of us.  I participate to reduce the peak demand and reduce cost.  Our individual actions can help keep everyone’s rate as low as possible.

Heather: Me too, and I’ve gotten my family on board. It’s a voluntary program, and one that makes a big difference without too much effort. Think about starting a text group with your friends, reminding them to participate. It’s all about power in numbers.

BEMC's Beat the Peak program

Beat the Peak makes it easy to save energy and money. Members will automatically be notified via text and/or email when a peak period will occur. If you’re not receiving Beat the Peak alerts and would like to, please call (800) 842-5871.

Learn more

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