Program helps cooperative manage electricity demand, save customers money
DURANGO, Colo. – La Plata Electric Association customers participating in the WattWatcher ® “Time-of-Use” (TOU) program are reminded that on-peak, off-peak times adjust for the season, Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012. From Sept. 15 through midnight May 14, 2013, the “winter” off-peak (lower rate) hours are daily, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., plus all day Thanksgiving and Christmas.
TOU rates take into consideration seasonal “peak” electrical use periods and rewards participants with lower rates for using electricity during the “off-peak” hours. LPEA’s wholesale power supplier, Tri-State Generation & Transmission, charges LPEA less for purchasing electricity in off-peak hours. LPEA then passes that savings on to customers who have signed up for the WattWatcher® program.
“It’s not something that most people think about, but LPEA works very hard at ‘managing’ the electricity everyone uses to help avoid things like the ‘brown-outs’ we’ve heard about in large metropolitan areas,” said Mark Schwantes, manager of corporate services. “Those happen when customer demand for electricity is greater than what the power company can supply. If people can shift their electrical usage to the ‘off-peak’ periods, it helps even out the flow and keeps everyone in power, as well as helping to decrease demand for additional power generation.”
Currently nearly 5,000 LPEA customers in La Plata and Archuleta counties are participating in the TOU program. According to Schwantes, LPEA’s customers have now ‘shifted’ so much of their electrical usage to the preferable off-peak periods that collectively they have exceeded $1.4 million in savings.
“Our TOU customers should be very proud. In essence, they have helped LPEA lower ‘the electric bill’ by more than $1 million,” he said.
To take full advantage of the TOU program, customers are urged to use those appliances that draw the most power – such the dishwasher, clothes washer and dryer or irrigation pump – during the off-peak hours. Also, installing programmable thermostats and timers on water heaters maximizes the TOU benefit.
LPEA, a Touchstone Energy Cooperative established in 1939, provides to its more than 30,000 members, with in excess of 42,000 meters, safe, reliable electricity at the lowest reasonable cost, while being environmentally responsible. For additional information, contact LPEA at 970.247.5786 or visit www.lpea.coop.
Off-peak, Time-of-Use Periods
Winter (September 15th – May 14th)
Daily 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. & 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.
All Day Thanksgiving and Christmas
Summer (May 15th – September 14th)
Monday – Friday 10 p.m. to 10 a.m.
All Day Saturday and Sunday