The simplest way to reduce your peak demand – and resulting demand charge – is to spread out your power consumption. Residential members should stagger consumption during the daily on-peak period of 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Non-residential members should do so throughout the day, and overnight if high-wattage equipment runs after typical business hours.
An example for residential members: You plan this evening to cook a roast and run a load of laundry. It might seem convenient to cook the roast while the laundry dries. Assuming your oven and clothes dryer each have a typical wattage of 4 kW and that you have no other devices drawing electricity, your peak demand over the hour in which both appliances are running would be 8 kilowatts (4 kilowatts plus 4 kilowatts). Your peak demand of 8 kW, multiplied by the residential demand rate of $2 per kilowatt, would result in a demand charge of $16. If you were to stagger your use of the oven and dryer, however, and not turn on the oven until the clothes dryer cycle had ended, your peak demand would be just 4 kW and result in a demand charge of only $8.
An example for non-residential members: You have multiple rooftop units that each cool an area of your building. Consider cooling one area at a time, using only one roof-top unit at a time. By staggering the use of the rooftop units, the peak demand will be less than if you had all the rooftop units on at the same time.
Reminder: Peak demand occurs only once per month for both residential and non-residential members. If your peak demand within a billing cycle is 8 kW, your demand charge will be based on that single 60-minute period – or 15-minute period, for non-residential members – even if your demand reaches 7 kW every other day within that same billing cycle.