GVEC debuted the Peak-Time Payback (PTP) demand response program in April 2020, replacing our previous program, Rush Hour Rewards. PTP works identically, with the same rewards, but expands the number of eligible thermostats. As we head into another summer, I’m pleased to report that more Cooperative members than ever are participating in PTP; however, there’s still plenty of room for additional participants, and we need your help.

Why Reducing Peak-Time Usage Matters

Each year, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) charges GVEC for using the statewide electric-transmission system. The annual amount paid is based on GVEC’s share of peak demand for electricity among 167 other power distributors throughout Texas. Peak demand occurs when cumulative usage along ERCOT’s grid spikes to it’s highest usage point within a one month period. To calculate the percentage of each provider’s usage during peak times, ERCOT identifies the highest load hour that occurs in each month of June, July, August and September. GVEC’s cost is then based on its percentage share of that load relative to those four peak hours. These “coincidental peaks” occur sometime between 3 and 7 p.m.—not only the hottest part of the day, but also the busiest in terms of electric demand.

Keeping usage low during peak times is so crucial to helping maintain stable electric rates, GVEC will pay members to help. That’s what PTP does. When you sign up, you’ll receive a one-time $85 bill credit. You’ll receive another $30 credit on each October or November bill every year you remain enrolled through September 30. You can earn $115 in credits during your first year just for helping us lower usage during peak times, which contributes to keeping rates more stable over time for all Cooperative members

Peak-Time Payback by the Numbers

To date, we’ve been pleased by the response to this relatively new program. In 2022, we enrolled 673 new PTP participants. This brought our total number of program enrollees to 2,773. We also saved $255,138 in transmission costs through PTP last year, bringing our total savings to date to over $500,000. As I mentioned above, though, there’s still plenty of room for additional participants: Remember, the more members who participate, the more effectively we can help keep GVEC electric rates stable for everyone.

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