Hamilton Utilities issues Peak Power Alert and asks for customer cooperation to trim electric bills

Beginning today, Tuesday, September 1, through Thursday, September 3, temperatures are forecasted to be some of the hottest of the year in Hamilton and across the eastern United States. In anticipation of high electric demand and prices during this period, Hamilton Utilities has issued a Peak Power Alert to help its customers save money on their electric bills.

The Hamilton Electric System does not expect power interruptions during these peak days; the Peak Power Alert is issued strictly as a means to assist customers in saving money. By voluntarily conserving energy from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday (9/1/15) through Thursday (9/3/15) this week, customers can help lower the City’s peak demand to keep electric rates low for everyone.

Director of Public Utilities Doug Childs said, “As a non-profit, consumer-owned organization, it’s our responsibility to let customers know when we see higher-than-normal prices so they can take actions to minimize the financial impact on their electric bills. Hamilton Utilities’ electric rates are designed to cover the cost of providing service.  By working together to reduce electric use on high-cost days like those forecasted this week, our consumer-owners can help reduce the impacts on their electric bills.”

“The Hamilton Electric System is a member of the PJM Interconnection, the regional electric transmission organization that manages the electric grid,” explained Director of Electric Kevin Maynard. “Per PJM rules, the City’s electric costs are in part based on how much electricity the City uses during peak summer days. Forecasts project that Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this week have a high likelihood of being peak days in 2015. Reducing the City’s electric use during peak days will help to keep our electric rates stable and among the lowest in the region.”

Mr. Maynard offered the following easy ways customers can help reduce peak electric demands:

  • Set air conditioner thermostats to 78 degrees. Some central cooling systems allow you to use the unit’s blower fan to circulate air in your home or business without running the power-intensive air conditioner compressor.
  • Use fans, including ceiling fans, to circulate air in your home or business.
  • Draw shades and blinds to prevent the sun from adding heat to your home or office.
    Use outdoor grills or microwave ovens instead of ranges and ovens, or go out to eat tonight!
  • Turn off any unnecessary lights.
  • Water lawns, gardens and landscaping before 2 p.m., after 7 p.m., or on weekends.
  • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible.
  • Use clothes washers and dryers before 2 p.m., after 7 p.m., or on weekends.
  • Run dishwashers before 2 p.m. or after 7 p.m.
  • Set automatic dehumidifiers to their highest settings or turn them off between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

“A good rule of thumb is: ‘If you’re not using it, turn it off.’  This includes lights, televisions, stereos and computers,” Maynard added.

Customers are encouraged to check the local media for Peak Power Alerts from June through September. Anyone with questions can contact Lauren Gersbach at 513-785-7278.

The City of Hamilton owns and operates all four of the primary utilities in the City, including electric (generation, transmission and distribution), natural gas (distribution), water (treatment and distribution), and water reclamation (collection and treatment) systems. The City continues to be one of the lowest cost providers of all utility services in the Region and the State.

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