MESSAGE FROM GENERAL MANAGER DARREN SCHAUER
There are many pieces to the puzzle when it comes to energy management. For decades, GVEC has provided members with relevant programs, face-to-face assistance and educational resources to help them take greater control of their energy usage, and the tools are only getting better with new technology. What members may not be aware of is how much goes on behind the scenes at the Co-op level.
The 2017 Four Coincident Peak Calculation Report by ERCOT, who
governs the flow of electric power across Texas, is an excellent example. Released each year in December, this report shows the percentage share of electricity that GVEC uses in comparison with 167 other utility companies during four peak periods of energy use during the months of June, July, August and September. The significance of this document is that it is used by the PUCT (Public Utilities Commission of Texas) to determine each company’s share of statewide transmission costs for the following year. In other words, the less GVEC members use during those four monthly peaks, the smaller the allocation of transmission costs that are passed to GVEC and in turn, the more stable the monthly rate that is passed from GVEC to its members. (Like wholesale power costs, this rate is passed directly to the membership with no markup as part of the G&T rate on your bill.)
Although no one knows precisely on which days those four coincidental peaks of energy usage will occur, they typically happen after there have been several hot days in a row and usually between 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. as people are returning home from work and school, turning down the air conditioning to cool their homes and using high-energy appliances like ovens. By practicing energy-efficient patterns of electric usage and/or investing in rooftop solar systems for your home, you—the consumer—can directly help lower a portion of your electric bill.
In addition to things that you can do at home to lower transmission costs, GVEC is also actively working on your behalf in this regard. We currently have in place several programs and promotions to help lower our share of the ERCOT electric grid. For example, the hydroelectric
and solar energy (SunHub®) we purchase during these peak events, and that are being produced at the local distribution level, help to offset the amount of power GVEC has to bring in from outside sources on the transmission grid. In conjunction, GVEC runs several of its offices
from large generators during these times to reduce the load. We are also working on additional programs and technology, which you will hear more about in coming months, that will better enable members to manage their energy usage during these high demand times.
When it comes to managing the cost of electricity, we are all in this together. I encourage each of you to talk to our Member Services Advisors about ways you can become more energy efficient in your homes or usage patterns. They can also talk with you if you are interested in investing in a rooftop solar system or signing up for the SunHub® Community Solar Program.
Don’t Miss Your District Meeting
This is just a reminder that meetings for this year will be for Districts 3, 6, 9 and 11. In addition to nominating a Director-Candidate to represent you, it’s also an opportunity to meet some of the staff here at GVEC and discuss Cooperative business.
I am always interested in your comments and feedback. Contact me by phone at 830.857.1152, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail at P.O. Box 118, Gonzales, Texas, 78629.