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Hancock-Wood Electric Co-op issues peak demand alert

Hancock-Wood Electric Cooperative has issued a peak demand alert from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. today due to cold temperatures.

During those hours, Hancock-Wood is asking customers to reduce electricity use as much as possible. The period may be extended depending upon updated forecasts.

“It is important to note, there is no shortage of power,” Hancock-Wood Electric Cooperative President and CEO George Walton said. “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, 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 Fahrenheit, but it will return to the desired temperature before significant discomfort is felt, Walton said.

Members without control switches are asked to lower their thermostat temperatures by 2 to 3 degrees Fahrenheit during this period and to delay use of higher-demand appliances such as hair dryers, dishwashers, clothes washers and clothes dryers.

Commercial co-op members are asked to lower thermostats by 2 to 3 degrees as well as reduce lighting to conserve electricity.

A co-op 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 half-hour. The fan will continue to operate during this period so that comfort in the home is maintained.

For more information, visit  www.hwe.coop or call 800-445-4840.

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