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The Benefits of Saving Electricity: Why Does My Cooperative Want Me to Save?

An LED lightbulb rests on a wooden table outside next to neat stacks of coins in front of a jar of coins.

When you’re trying to save on monthly expenses, you may look at your energy bill as a place to lower spending. The benefits of saving electricity on the consumer level are straightforward: Use less electricity and save on your bill. 

However, you may wonder why your electric cooperative encourages you to save energy. Aren’t co-ops in the business of selling electricity? Why would they want members like me to use less?

Saving energy can benefit your cooperative, other members of your cooperative and your community as a whole.

Benefits of Saving Electricity: 3 Reasons Your Electric Cooperative Wants You to Save

  1. Electric cooperatives are built for their member-owners. Co-ops are designed to serve members in every way possible, including their energy use. This includes education on energy savings and rebates on products or services that can help you save. 
  2. Electric cooperatives want to provide power at the lowest cost possible. Rural electric cooperatives want to keep power as affordable as possible, which is more attainable with less energy demand. By using energy wisely, your cooperative’s power supplier, Associated Electric Cooperative, can optimize generating capacity in order to postpone building costly new power plants. Everything you do to reduce your energy use helps manage growth.
  3. More money back to you. Co-ops don’t earn a profit. When your cooperative’s power supplier has less demand for power, it can strategically sell electricity on the wholesale power market to gain revenue. Co-ops use margins to make improvements to the electric cooperative or pay back members with capital credits

What Time of Day You Use Energy Makes a Difference 

During hot summer days, the demand for electricity reaches its peak between 4 and 8 p.m. And during cold winter days, this demand is between 7 and 9 a.m. This demand is a major component of your electric cooperative’s wholesale power bill. 

By reducing the demand for power during these peak hours, you can help avoid higher rates in the future. Remember, when the temperature climbs in the summer or dips in the winter, limit the use of major appliances, turn off any lights or TVs not in use, and “Beat the Peak!”

What You Can Do to Take Control and Save

While electric cooperatives work to keep producing power at an affordable cost as efficiently as possible, there are a few ways that you can save electricity and money every day.

Check out our other great content on ways you can save.

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