The more than 30,000 volunteers participating in Beat The Peak have already helped save almost $100,000 in power costs, according to a recent impact study. That’s good news for members of the S.C. electric cooperatives working together to keep costs as low as possible for the people they serve.
“All of us at Little River Electric Cooperative want to thank the members who have agreed to delay or reduce their energy use during peak periods, when many people need electricity at once,” said General Manager Mike Ellis. “Some have set their thermostat well above 70 degrees in summer, which has the biggest impact. Others have simply turned off some lights and electronics during those peak times. We appreciate efforts both large and small.”
The volunteers have signed up for alerts that let them know when a peak is on the way. In the summer, these peaks usually occur between 4 and 7 p.m. on the hottest days. That’s when people come home, crank up the AC, bathe and do laundry and dishes.
“During summer, we encourage people to grill outdoors during peak periods. Setting the thermostat to a setting that may be a little warmer than what people are used to also helps,” said Ellis. “People can choose what they are willing to do.”
According to Ellis, each Beat The Peak volunteer reduced power demand on average by 55 watts last summer and 52 watts last winter. That’s enough energy to power a 10-watt LED bulb for more than 5 hours. Multiply that by 30,000 volunteers, and the savings really add up.
“Each person who participates helps reduce power costs,” said Ellis. “Since power costs impact rates, their actions will help keep rates stable and reduce the need for new power plants.”
People can sign up at BeatThePeak.com by completing a simple form on the website and indicating how they want to receive peak alerts. Prior to a peak, volunteers receive an alert and take action during the peak to help reduce demand for electricity.