Understanding electricity use helps us save energy, and reduce costs. The price of electricity, as with other commodities, depends on supply and demand. Simply put, the price of electricity rises when supply is low. And the price goes down when supply is high.
But the energy industry is complex. Increasing the supply of electricity is not as simple as burning more coal, or building new power stations. Political decisions, technological changes, and even foreign wars all affect the supply of energy.
Knowing the peak hours of use helps the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) maintain a reliable supply of electricity for its customers in New York State. Analyzing electricity use means the NYISO can optimize its resources.
Resources managed by the NYISO include:
What are the peak hours for electricity use in New York State?
Electricity use changes seasonally, and is affected by weather. There is a higher demand for electricity in the summer, when energy is used to power air conditioners. The peak times of use are usually in the afternoon, from about 3-5pm in the summer, and 5-7pm in the winter.
Peak electricity usage
Summer is from May 1 through October 31, and winter is from November 1 through April 30. Electricity is measured in megawatts (MW)
2009-10 electricity demand:
2010-11 electricity demand:
2011-12 electricity demand:
All-time peak electricity usage:
The summer peak in demand can rise as much as 40% above average. The heat wave in 2006 created New York State’s all-time record peak demand.
Projected electricity usage:
Summer 2022: 36,230 MW (baseline)
Winter 2022: 25,905 MW (baseline)
Demand response programs
Electricity usage is projected to increase. But with energy deregulation, and the growth of energy service companies, demand response programs are being offered. These demand response programs encourage reducing usage in times of peak demand. Offering incentives for customers to save energy, and take control of their energy bills, has reduced peak loads.
In 2011, the NYISO had over 5,800 registered electricity customers in their demand response programs. These customers reduced almost 2,200 megawatts of electricity in New York State.
Understanding electricity usage helps the electricity service company, and the customer, take control of their energy bill and save both energy and money.
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