THE RED ZONE – What is it and why is it important?
Every year during July and August DSO asks members to reduce their energy usage between the hours of 3 – 6 PM, Monday through Friday. DSO sets its summer peak during these hours, these hours are known as the RED ZONE. The peak demand for electricity recorded in July and August drives a major part of the wholesale power billing process for the eight off-peak months that follow, October through May. Reducing the demand during July and August will help lower the demand charges we all pay the following year.
Five years ago DSO worked with several members on a voluntary pilot program where we would completely interrupt power for one hour during the RED ZONE. At that time, members received a $50 credit on their September statement for participating and helping DSO reduce our demand during July and August. The program was so successful in 2020 the interruptible rate was created. Now any residential members can participate.
How does the interruptible rate work?
DSO may turn off power to the member’s meter any time during the Red Zone. Power may be interrupted on multiple days, but there is only one peak day. In 2020, we interrupted power to members five times during July and August. During each event, power was interrupted for one hour. DSO notifies members at least 30 minutes before power being interrupted. This notification comes in the form of a text message or email. Members will receive a $25 credit per kW saved on the peak day. Another advantage members receive from selecting the interruptible rate is a reduction in their energy charge during the Red Zone window. Contact our office at 1-800-376-3533 to find out how the interruptible rate can save you money.
You might be asking what is DSO doing to help reduce the demand? DSO has two 1-MegaWatt peak generators that run when our power supplier (KEPCo) indicates we could set a peak for the day. In June of 2021, two 1-Megawatt solar arrays were brought online. These arrays will not only help DSO during the 3-6 peak window but will help reduce costs during all daytime hours.
DSO would like to thank all of the members who have signed up for the interruptible rate for the 2021 season and encourage all of our residential members to sign up for the 2022 season