It’s an unavoidable fact of the electric industry: power costs much more during peak times in the summer when demand on the grid is at its highest.
In the past, when we were limited by metering technology, we had to make our per-kWh rates higher for everyone to ensure we collected enough revenue to cover power costs incurred by those with high demand during peak times.
But now, using modern meters and rate designs, we are able to consistently reward those on our default Peak Savers rate who spread out their usage during peak time from 3 to 8 p.m. on declared Peak Days. That reward comes in the form of a lower peak charge.
Keep in mind the peak charge, a component of our Peak Savers rate, only occurs in June, July, August and September. You can read more details on our Peak Savers page.
Here are two concepts we want every Heartland member to understand:
Peak days are savings opportunities, not warnings.
When Heartland declares a peak day, please don’t take it as a dire warning about the state of the electric grid. These are simply days we think might end up being the days of highest usage on our system for the month, meaning you might save money if you choose to reduce your electric demand from 3 to 8 p.m.
You can be notified of peak days by text, email, our website, or even by calling our main office line at (800) 835-9586. We'll provide more details as we get a little closer to June.
The key to saving on your peak charge is not using too many things at once.
It’s a safe bet that on a hot summer day, you’ll be running your air conditioner during the peak time of 3 to 8 p.m. The easiest way to save on your peak charge is by not using too many other high-draw appliances all at the same time. Your big-screen TV doesn’t draw that much power, but your electric clothes dryer, oven, dishwasher, and pool pump do. (See our Energy Use Basics page for a list of appliances and their typical power draw.) Try changing up your routine so you’re using only one of these items at a time and your demand will drop. It’s that easy!