Are you ready for winter?
Last winter was brutal.
Countless blizzards and extreme cold weather were made worse by rapid increases in the price of home heating fuels, such as propane, fuel oil, and natural gas. With the price of those fuels expected to remain high, it’s a good time to consider switching to off-peak electric heating. Off-peak provides your home or business with comfortable, efficient heating while also protecting you from heating fuel price spikes. The off-peak electric heating rate is remarkably stable in comparison to the alternatives.
So, how does it work? The off-peak program is voluntary for members who allow for their electric heating system to be temporarily controlled and switched to an automated backup resource (like propane or electric storage) during times of peak demand for electricity in the region. In exchange, members receive a discounted electric heat rate, which is about 50% less than the standard electricity rate.
Here are a few things we want you to know before the winter season begins.
1) There’s still time to switch to off-peak heating
Call our Energy Services Department at 701-356-4400 to discuss your options for adding off-peak electric heating equipment to your home or business. The process is typically simple and straightforward, and your electric cooperative provides great rebates, incentives, and other programs to significantly lower installation and equipment costs.
2) There is a potential for earlier-than-normal off-peak load control hours
From now until mid-December, Minnkota Power Cooperative, CCEC’s wholesale power provider, will have its largest power plant offline for scheduled maintenance. With this plant not producing electricity, Minnkota may need to utilize off-peak load control to avoid costly electricity purchases from others on the grid. The savings from this practice are passed on to you through the low off-peak rate.
3) Fill your propane or fuel oil tank
Be sure to fill your propane or fuel oil tank as soon as possible, and ensure your tank is large enough to hold an adequate supply. If your propane tank gets low during extremely cold temperatures, it may not work properly. Remember, prices typically rise as demand increases during the heating season.
4) Check your furnace
Make sure to change your furnace filter regularly. Contact a heating/ventilation/air conditioning (HVAC) professional to inspect/maintain your system as needed. Early attention to maintenance can help prevent failures in the heart of the heating season.
Members have had to spend more on energy to heat their homes and transportation this past year, but the good news is that the price you pay for electricity is forecasted to remain stable. If you have questions about how to save on your winter heating bills or are having issues making payments, please contact our offices. We are here to help and can connect you with the right resources, no matter the situation.