Demand response is a strategy that Great River Energy uses to reduce the demand for electricity during occasional “high demand” periods such as hot summer days. Demand response helps Great River Energy avoid building additional peaking plants or purchasing additional energy in the wholesale market. Over 200,000 of our cooperative members participate in demand response programs through one of our member-owner cooperatives.
The cost of electricity is constantly changing. The kilowatt-hour delivered at dinner time is more expensive than the one delivered at midnight. Our demand response programs exist to take advantage of that cost difference. These programs help members install equipment that stores less expensive off-peak energy as well as controlling appliances to reduce energy consumption during the most expensive hours.
For example, members that participate in the demand response programs are essentially allowing Great River Energy to “control” or “cycle” their air conditioner, water heater or some other load for a period of hours on high demand days, which typically occur on hot summer days. For their inconvenience – which is often not much of an inconvenience at all – the member receives a reduced electric rate from their electric cooperative.
Some examples of our demand response programs include:
- Cycled air conditioning
- Peak shave water heating
- Controlled irrigation