How to defeat the summer peak
The key to reducing the impacts of summer peaks is to stay informed and thoughtful about your energy use.
Summer marks the time of year with the highest levels of electricity use. This nation-wide trend is known as summer peak. When we place extra strain on the electric grid, electricity is more expensive.
On hot days electric utilities experience peaks in demand. This is known as a “peak event” and electric utilities will be managing energy demand during these times. Events usually occur between 4pm and 9pm on weekdays. What can you do?
- Check your electric utility's website to find out when a peak event is scheduled
- Sign up to receive peak event alerts from your utility company (if available)
- Make a plan to save electricity and share it with your office or household
- On a breezy day, cool your home by opening your windows, the wind will draw air in and create a cross-breeze
- When there’s no breeze, lower shades during the day to keep the room cool
- Use fans to create a breeze that will keep you cool and comfortable, and use a lot less energy than air conditioning
- Wait to do heat-producing tasks like cooking, laundry, and dishwashing during cooler hours, or take these tasks outside by grilling and hanging clothes to dry
- Turn off all unnecessary lights, appliances, and electronics
- Turn the air-conditioner up to 78 degrees while home and above 80 degrees when you are away from home
- Avoid charging your electric car
- Unplug devices and turn off power strips
- If possible rely on your laptop battery during peak events
- Turn off any lights that are not in use
- Avoid charging electric vehicles
- Try to keep TV monitors and lights off in meeting rooms
- Use the stairs instead of the elevator
- Try not to brew coffee, open and close the refrigerator, use microwaves, or run dishwashers in the office kitchen
- Hold use of printers/copiers/fax machines until the event is over
- Pull the shades down so that the HVAC system doesn’t have to fight solar heat gain from the windows.