Understanding Residential Demand
What is demand? Demand is the amount of power needed to supply everything running off of electricity in your home at a specific point in time. This usage, which is expressed in kilowatts (not kilowatt-hours), is called the “demand” on the system. Demand varies from hour to hour, day to day and season to season.
Think about it like your internet service. When one person streams a movie or television show on a device in your home, the stream works perfectly. But as additional people in your home attempt to stream video at the same time, more bandwidth is needed.
Electricity demand is similar. As more appliances in your home run simultaneously, your demands for power increases. For example, ten 100-watt light bulbs demand 1,000-watts (1 kilowatt) of electricity (10×100) to stay lit.
Certain appliances – such as HVAC units, electric ovens and clothes dryers – demand significant power from the grid. That’s why not running them at the same time is important to minimize the Demand Charge.
Osage Valley has always billed members for the demand charge, it just wasn’t a separate line item on the bill. In the past, OVEC recovered the demand charge that our power provider charged us through the KWh charge. Now, thanks to new metering technology, we can bill each household for the demand that they are actually using. The demand will be measured between 6 to 9 a.m. and 4 to 8 p.m. A household’s highest KW demand through the month during these hours will be what they see as their demand charge on the bill. This type of billing is also referred to as “Time of Use”. This way members have control of their demand charge and can take advantage of reducing the demand during critical peak times and save on the electric bill. By simply shifting when you use appliances such as your dryer, dishwasher or stove can help reduce your electric bill. If shifting when you use appliance doesn’t work for you, simply staggering the use of appliances, i.e. not running the washer, dryer, dishwasher and oven all at the same time, can also help save you save money.
Managing Residential Demand
You can use the demand calculator to learn about managing demand. By clicking different appliances on in the calculator, you can see the cost of running several appliances at the same time verses staggering the usage of these appliances.
The video below further explains demand and time of use billing.