LINCOLN — This summer, LES Peak Rewards participants helped LES reduce peak summer demand by approximately 4 megawatts. This was accomplished through 15 events that adjusted thermostat temperatures thanks to program participants.
“Four megawatts is the equivalent power demand of eight big-box retail stores,” said Marc Shkolnick, manager, Energy Services. “By having the ability to reduce peak demand with the help of our customers, LES can cost-effectively delay the need to add another generating source to its portfolio.”
LES launched Peak Rewards in 2018 to work with residential and small commercial customers to better manage the system’s peak demand through internet-connected thermostat adjustments. Reducing peak demand, the highest amount of electricity the system carries during a set period based on customer demand, defers the need for additional power generation and eases the burden on our local electric system as the community continues to grow.
Customers with qualifying, internet-connected thermostats controlling their central air conditioning system are eligible to participate. They are rewarded with monetary incentives to enroll and reduce electricity use during periods of high demand, helping LES’ entire service area manage energy more efficiently. Incentives come in the form of a one-time $25 Amazon e-gift card for enrolling. Plus, a $25 bill credit after the close of each program year. Peak demand periods typically occur on hot, humid days when demand for electricity is high.
“During our peak demand season, we assess historical usage trends alongside a 15-day weather forecast every morning to help us decide if calling an event that day is necessary to minimize our monthly peak demand,” said Lee Anderson, supervisor, System Energy Maintenance.
When an event occurs, the thermostat is first cooled 3 degrees to maintain comfort. Following precooling, the thermostat is adjusted to 3 to 4 degrees above its set temperature for approximately two hours to reduce the system’s electricity demand. Once the event is over, the thermostat returns to regular operation.
For more information about the LES Peak Rewards program or to enroll your smart thermostat, go to LES.com/PeakRewards.