Amid high temps, electric co-op issues peak alert

Delaware Electric Cooperative asked all Delaware Electric Co-op members to voluntarily conserve or limit energy usage between the hours of 3 and 7 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday, July 21 and 22, when its membership was expected be using the greatest amount of electricity and, as a result, when the cooperative would be purchasing power from the market at extremely high prices.

The weather forecast for Monday and Tuesday called for high temperatures in the low- to mid-90s, with peak heat indices at or above 100 degrees. It was the second such alert issued in a week, after the cooperative asked members to reduce usage on a similarly hot July 18 afternoon and evening.

During “normal” load periods, DEC pays only pennies per kilowatt-hour for power. However, during “peak” demand or energy periods when the temperatures rise, it can pay up to $1 per kilowatt-hour and, in turn, passes these higher costs on to members, which may have an impact on rates.

“Between the hours of 3 and 7 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday, we are asking our members to turn off all unnecessary lights or appliances that may not be needed. We would ask that our members delay major appliance usage, such as dishwashers, washing machines and clothes dryers, and, if they can, delay any hot water usage,” DEC representative Rob Book said.

Other important steps to take might include closing window shades and setting thermostats higher during this “peak” time of 3 to 7 p.m., said Book.

Delaware Electric Cooperative is a member-owned electric utility serving over 73,000 member-owners in Kent and Sussex County, Del. For more information, visit the Web site at