Peak Demand

Did You Know?

  • Six hours of each year, 30 minutes of each month, causes 46% of Gunnison County Electric Association’s (GCEA’s) wholesale power bill
  • It’s called a demand charge and it occurs 75% of the time within 2 hours after sunset

What Are On-Peak Hours?​​​​​​​

On-peak is defined as the hours during the day when electricity is most used and more expensive.

GCEA’s on-peak hours occur from 5 pm to 10 pm Monday through Saturday.

  • Occurs one hour after sunset on average
  • Morning peak occurs an hour and 20 minutes after sunrise on average
  • Within two hours after sunset 85% of the time
  • On or within three days of an observed holiday 23% of the time

How to Cut Down on Energy Use During On-Peak Hours

  • Adjust your thermostat
    • How new habits can help reduce energy consumption and peak demand. It isn't just about how much electricity you use - it's also about when you use it. During the summer, GCEA's on-peak hours occur from 7 pm to 10 pm Monday through Saturday. You can cut down on energy consumption by following the three S rule. Shift, stagger, save. Shift usage from on-peak to off-peak hours by using appliances and other devices before 7 pm and after 10 pm. Stagger the use of high-power appliances by turning the appliances on at different times, so the total demand/load is lower than turning them all on at the same time. Save by using items that use less power, such as a toaster oven instead of a traditional oven which also reduces demand. Consider investing in a programmable thermostat
    • Program your thermostat to come on early enough to have your home warm by 5 pm
  • Limit hot water use
    • Consider placing a timer on your water heater that will help shift energy load
  • Use high-wattage appliances like the dryer, washer, oven, and stove before or after the on-peak hours
    • Use a toaster oven instead
    • Use the delay on dishwasher
  • Use a crockpot to cook meals
  • Consider doing laundry on Sunday when there is no peak time

What Drives Peak

  • Weather variations during the month/year
  • Coincidental usage patterns
    • Business hours
    • Sleep cycles
    • Programmable devices
  • Special Events
  • Tourism
  • Presence/lack of incentives to influence consumer behavior
  • Extent of consumer education/awareness

By reducing your demand during peak hours along with other GCEA members, you can help us keep your electricity rates down long-term and reduce pollution in our environment.​​​​​​​