Your air conditioner is probably one of the most demand intensive appliances in your home. This means members will begin to see their demand charge rise to include this additional appliance as the summer heat arrives. There is good news if you like keeping your home cool, though. When United Power instituted the demand charge, there was a corresponding REDUCTION in the cost of energy. Since you use a lot of energy to keep your home cool, you will probably see very little change from prior summers in your average bill.
When United Power moved to a demand rate we uncoupled costs that had previously been blended into the rate. This new structure gives you more control over your electric costs, by allowing you to avoid stacking appliance use. It also reduced the cost you pay for the actual energy you use.
The change is helping to make sure you pay a more accurate portion of your costs for the distribution system that brings power to your home.
Demand is the total of all electric appliances that are running at one time. United Power bases their demand charge on your highest demand in a 15-minute period throughout the month. In the summer this is going to happen when you run your air conditioner, and perhaps an additional appliance like your washer or oven. For example, a 24,000 BTU air conditioner creates a demand of about 3.8 kW, which translates to a demand charge of $3.80 plus the demand of any other appliances running at the same time.
United Power made sure that our members can access the information they need to better understand their power consumption. All United Power members can look at their power consumption and see when you reach your peak demand via the Power Portal. If you need help accessing the Power Portal give Member Services a call at 303-637-1300. Remember that our website, www.unitedpower.com, has lots of great information about how you can reduce demand and how demand billing works.