What’s a “Peak” Anyway?

The amount of electricity that members of Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative collectively use varies during the course of the year and even from hour to hour in a given day. But there are certain times when electricity usage spikes up as members all use more power at the same time. These high usage periods are called “peaks.”

Many peaks occur on the hottest and coldest days

Peaks are most likely to happen on the hottest and coldest days of the year. When temperatures outside get too uncomfortable, SVEC members adjust their heating or air conditioning at roughly the same time. This creates periods when electricity consumption is highest – a “peak” in demand.

But peaks also occur in “shoulder” temperature months that are not hot or cold. Why do we still Beat the Peak then? Just like you get a power bill from us every month, we get a power bill from our power supplier (ODEC) every month.  Unlike yours, our power bill has a peak demand component where we are billed on our highest peak for that month.  We are beating the peak every month (even these mild temperature “shoulder” months) in order to keep our power bill as low as possible, which will keep your power bill as low as possible.

To control costs, we have to Beat the Peak

Your cooperative pays the highest rates for electricity during these peaks since demand for power from our suppliers skyrockets. If SVEC needs to buy too much electricity at these peak rates over the course of a year, it can begin to impact the rates members are charged. That is why SVEC has developed a free and voluntary program so members can help the cooperative Beat the PeakSign up today and help hold down costs.