Cold Temps Lead To New Peak Usage Level

On the morning of January 2, 2018, a new peak level of electricity usage was set by Howell-Oregon Electric Cooperative members. The new peak level was set due to the extremely low temperatures that were recorded in the HOEC service area.

During the past several days, the National Weather Service has reported low air temperatures in the single digits and wind chill temperatures in the negatives.

​Setting a new peak demand for power simply means that HOEC members used a higher level of power than ever before. It does not mean that power was in danger of being in short supply or not available.

The biggest factor impacting electric bills are the kilowatt hours consumed. During periods where temperatures are at an extreme, members demand more kilowatts to heat their homes and cook their meals. As a result of increased usage of kilowatt hours, members most likely will see a higher bill that is due February 1st. Winter Peaks are typically set between the hours of 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. as members prepare for their work and school day by showering, preparing breakfast, using more heat, etc.

​"When temperatures drop to the single digits with wind chill temperatures in the negatives it makes it nearly impossible to avoid a winter peak demand being set", said Myles Smith, Manager of Member Services at Howell-Oregon Electric Cooperative. "In temperatures as cold as what we had, it would not have been prudent to ask members to limit the use of their heat during that time."

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