Participants in a Lincoln Electric System (LES) program this summer helped the Nebraska public power utility reduce peak summer demand by approximately four megawatts. This was accomplished through 15 events that adjusted thermostat temperatures thanks to program participants.
“Four megawatts is the equivalent power demand of eight big-box retail stores,” noted Marc Shkolnick, manager for Energy Services at LES. “By having the ability to reduce peak demand with the help of our customers, LES can cost-effectively delay the need to add another generating source to its portfolio.”
LES launched Peak Rewards in 2018 to work with residential and small commercial customers to better manage the system’s peak demand through internet-connected thermostat adjustments.
Customers with qualifying, internet-connected thermostats controlling their central air conditioning system are eligible to participate. They are rewarded with monetary incentives to enroll and reduce electricity use during periods of high demand.
Incentives come in the form of a one-time $25 Amazon e-gift card for enrolling. There is also a $25 bill credit after the close of each program year.
“During our peak demand season, we assess historical usage trends alongside a 15-day weather forecast every morning to help us decide if calling an event that day is necessary to minimize our monthly peak demand,” said Lee Anderson, supervisor, System Energy Maintenance at LES.