Hancock-Wood Electric Co-op issues peak demand alert - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Hancock-Wood Electric Co-op issues peak demand alert

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At 10:00 a.m. this morning, Hancock-Wood Electric Cooperative (HWEC) issued a Peak Demand Alert for the hours between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m., today, and again between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. tomorrow, January 7, due to continuing sub-zero temperatures. These times are subject to change as forecasts are updated, so members should prepare for the time to extend slightly beyond these timeframes. According to weather reports, a frigid, dense swirl of air, known as a polar vortex, has descended on northwest Ohio and is expected to cause the area to reach or surpass decades-old cold temperature records.

President and CEO George Walton stated, "The alert is to urge both commercial and residential members to reduce electricity use during those periods and coincides with the activation of automatic load control switches. It is important to note: there is no shortage of power. A portion of what Hancock-Wood pays for electricity is determined by peak demand, so Members' participation in controlling electric use helps us to keep electric rates stable."

Load control switches on heat-pumps, geothermal units and water heaters will be activated across the state, affecting all 10 districts in the Hancock-Wood service area located in portions of Hancock, Wood, Allen, Erie, Hardin, Henry, Putnam, Sandusky, Seneca and Wyandot counties.  Heat pump units equipped with these load control switches will be cycled off and on for brief periods of time, in rotation, so that the peak demand is kept under control. 

A typical residential member with installed controls might see his or her home temperature temporarily lowered by approximately 4 to 5 degrees, but it will return to the desired temperature before significant discomfort is felt, said Walton. 

Members without control switches are asked to lower their thermostat temperatures by 2 to 3 degrees during this period and to delay use of higher-demand appliances such as hair dryers, dishwashers, and clothes washers and clothes dryers. Commercial Members are asked to lower thermostats by two-to three degrees as well as reduce lighting to conserve electricity.

A member whose electric water heater is equipped with a control switch will see a red light activate on the gray box located on each unit, indicating the load is being temporarily deferred. The member may continue to draw hot water; however, the water heater will not reheat until the load-shedding period concludes. When heat pump load control switches are activated, the pump will be cycled off for eight to 12 minutes every one-half hour. The fan will continue to operate during this period so that comfort in the home is maintained.

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