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Summer Electricity Demand – “Shave the Peak” to Save Money and Help the Environment!

AbbieKnight 0 Ratings 14 Discussions 9 Group posts

Posted by: AbbieKnight

Shave the Peak

Reducing Electricity Usage from 5pm to 8pm can Make a Big Difference - Sign Up for Alerts! Due to high summer temperatures in Massachusetts, there is a high demand for electricity especially within the hours 5pm and 8pm. On days where the demand for electricity spikes (around 10% of the time), the electrical grid operator must use additional less-efficient power plants that are usually left unused.

In New England, there is one electrical grid that serves the businesses, homes, etc. In the fall or spring, there is a normal pattern for the demand of electricity, however, during the summer there is a shift in the pattern. People utilize their air conditioning and fans more, causing almost double the demand of electricity than on a typical Spring Day. This causes a strain on the grid, and old, dirty, expensive power plants are used to supply the additional energy needed. These plants are unused the most of the year, and are used just for high demand occasions. This is the reason the electricity during this time can be almost 40% of electrical grid costs.

In order to stop the usage of the power plants, the amount of electricity usage from 5pm to 8pm needs to be reduced.  One way to create more awareness of the high demand spikes is to sign up for "Shave the Peak" alerts by to be aware of when to reduce some of your electric usage.

At Shave the Peak HQ (the Green Energy Consumers Alliance offices in Boston and Providence), the team monitors demand predictions from the electrical grid operator, ISO New England (real-time data and predictions are available to the public on the ISO-NE Website)! When it looks like the next day will be one of the 4 – 8 dirtiest, most expensive electricity days in the year, the organization sends text and email alerts to subscribers reminding them to reduce their electricity usage as much as they reasonably can. 

In 2018, the second year of this clever program, the number of "Shave the Peak" subscribers grew by a factor of 10. Summer 2018 had 12 days that hit electricity demand over 23,000 megawatts; summer 2017 had just 4.

To learn more about the Power usage last summer:

Allison Friedman Weston, MA, united-states 0 Ratings 102 Discussions 131 Group posts

Allison Friedman // Rate It Green Admin

It would be great if people could report in on what other states are doing as well. Thanks for this AbbieKnight - I just signed up, and it was super easy. You fill in your email and specify how often you want updates - and that's it!

According to the Green Energy Consumers Alliance blog, the 40% of use you're reporting above is consumed during the 10% of hours that have the highest demand - ouch. I can certainly change some of my patterns to help, whether it's earlier or later.

Peak Electricity Demand


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