It’s Hot! Use Less of the Expensive, High Carbon Producing, Dirty Electricity...It's Doable Wellesley
It’s that time of year again! Time for beach outings, barbecue gatherings, and boat excursions as well as a critical time to be aware of our electricity use and its impact on our electric rates and the environment.
During the hottest days of the summer months, as we crank up our ACs, our system-wide use of electricity reaches the highest, ‘peak’ levels for the year. To meet the extreme electric demand, the grid operator—ISO-New England—turns to “peaker plants,” the power generators of last resort. These power plants are generally the dirtiest and most expensive, running on gas and oil and selling their power at extremely high rates. Peaker plants are only necessary for the highest demand hours, about 2 – 7% of the year in full. In the graph below, you can see how the grid ramps up power from oil and gas peaker plants as electric demand grows.
As demand grows, price skyrockets. At last summer’s price peak on June 30, wholesale electric prices per MWh were over ten times the average for the year. Peak hours have such a big impact on our electricity costs, that thirty percent of our electric bill is directly related to the amount of electricity Wellesley uses for just one hour during the entire year. That one hour is called the peak demand hour.
Peak electricity is expensive and dirty—but you can help. Sustainable Wellesley and the
Wellesley Municipal Light Plant (WMLP) encourage you to join the campaign to “shave the peak” this summer. The WMLP can usually predict when peak events will occur a day in advance, so you can plan to reduce demand during the hours of highest electric use.
Sign up for Shave the Peak alerts and receive notifications through email (send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject and body blank), or follow them on Twitter, @MLPWellesley, to know when an electric demand peak is anticipated. Then it’s as easy as turning up your AC thermostat a few degrees or delaying usage of electrical appliances such as car chargers, dehumidifiers, pool filters, or clothes dryers until after the peak. This minimal commitment offers you an opportunity to practice mindfulness not only for yourself but the environment too.
Help us meet our goal of reducing peak demand below our historic level! You can also track our campaign to reduce our peak on the WMLP website: Shave-the-Peak. After each peak event you can see how we did compared to our goal. Get your friends and family to join our campaign, and watch our peak shrink as your savings grow and Earth benefits.
Concerned About the Efficiency of Your Water Heater?
Sustainable Wellesley has teamed up with HomeWorks Energy to help spread the word about no-cost virtual Home Energy Assessments and the importance of energy efficiency in all seasons.
Water heaters decrease in efficiency as they age. Upgrading an old water heater to a more energy-efficient unit can help save money on energy use and lower your carbon footprint.
Schedule a no-cost Home Energy Assessment today to unlock access to professional advice from a Home Energy Specialist about your hot water tank. Ask about the Mass Save® HEAT Loan, a 0% interest rate loan for up to 7 years, that can be used to help finance new heating systems. The sponsors of the Mass Save program also offer generous rebates for qualified water heaters!
Schedule your Home Energy Assessment here, and for every performed Assessment, HomeWorks Energy will support Sustainable Wellesley with a donation. Save money and support us at the same time by signing up today!
Saturday June 19 at 10am, join Wellesley residents, students of all ages and folks from neighboring activist groups such as 350 Mass MetroWest, Extinction Rebellion, Sunrise Movement, Fridays For Future, Mothers Out Front and others to raise awareness that is unhealthy for banks to invest in the fossil fuel industry.
Using the imminent opening of a new Chase Bank branch in town to protest JPMorgan-Chase continuing to invest heavily in fossil fuels, you are invited to stand with the community in the “closed to traffic” area of Central Street to interact with pedestrians and shoppers, asking them to sign pre-addressed “Stop the Money Pipeline” postcards to Jamie Dimon, the CEO of Chase.
At noon all will process to the Post Office and ceremoniously post the cards.
Please add this to your calendar and bring a friend!
Meet up on Saturday June 19 at 10am in the small shady park at the intersection of Crest Road and Central Street (rt. 135).