• LPEA “Time-of-Use” program saving members energy and dollars


    Current TOU participants reminded that off-peak hours adjust on May 15

    La Plata Electric Association (LPEA) customers participating in the WattWatcher ®“Time-of-Use” (TOU) program are reminded that on-peak, off-peak times adjust for the season, Tuesday, May 15, 2012. From May 15 through midnight Sept. 14, 2012, the “summer” off-peak (lower rate) hours are Monday – Friday 10 p.m. to 10 a.m. and all day Saturday and Sunday.

    TOU rates take into consideration seasonal “peak” electrical use periods and rewards participants with lower rates for using electricity during “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.

    “Most people don’t realize it, but LPEA works very hard at ‘managing’ the electricity everyone uses to help avoid things like the ‘brown-outs’  we’ve heard about in metropolitan areas like New York and Los Angeles,” 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 keep everyone in power, as well as help decrease demand for additional power generation.”

    Currently more than 4,970 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 annual 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, noting that as more residents sign on, the greater the impact in dollar savings and efficiency of the electrical grid.

    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.

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