Residential Demand Charge
In February 2019, FEC’s Board of Trustees first announced that residential bills would include a demand charge. The residential demand charge collects costs more accurately and more fairly from each of FEC’s residential members because your Co-op pays a premium for power used during peak hours. It also gives members more control over their power bill because they can reduce their demand by shifting usage to off-peak hours. We hope that, over time, this new rate structure will help our members use energy more wisely.
Understanding demand and making it work for you:
Electricity that is delivered to your home has to be generated at the same exact time you’re using it. (This is why, for example, if you have solar panels on your house, you also need a backup form of energy for the times when the sun doesn’t shine.) If you think about it, generally a population of people are all awake and using electricity at the same time: getting ready for work, preparing meals, etc. This means that during certain times of the day, people are using more electricity than others — and it actually costs FEC more to purchase electricity during those “peak” times. This extra cost gets passed back to our members in the form of a “demand charge” on your bill.
Demand measures the maximum amount of power (kW) you require each billing period during Flathead Electric’s peak demand times, when our costs are higher. Think of it as an extra little charge to help offset the costs of everyone on the system trying to use electricity at the same time.
How can I reduce my demand?
So, to reduce your demand (and demand charge) going forward, consider making these adjustments:
- During peak hours, spread out the use of major appliances rather than running them at the same time.
- Do laundry and other chores that require significant amounts of electricity outside of peak hours, such as mid-day, later in the evening, or on weekends. (Consider setting timers to run your dishwasher, clothes dryer and other appliances outside of peak hours.)
- Purchase a programmable thermostat to reduce heating and air conditioning usage during peak hours.
- Earn a $100 rebate for the purchase of a smart thermostat which can help you reduce demand by controlling when you heat and cool your home.
As a member-owned electric Cooperative, our goals are quite simple: to provide reliable low-cost power and to treat all members fairly. We hope that this rate structure is (and will continue over time) helping our members to use energy more wisely. The reality is, when we all use less energy during peak hours, we all save money.
June 2021 Rate Adjustment & Bill Calculator
Flathead Electric Cooperative’s Board of Trustees is pleased to announce that, for the third year in a row, they have approved a 0% rate revenue increase for all rate classes for the coming year. The Board also approved a revenue-neutral change to the residential rate which includes a decrease in the Energy Charge (kWh) and an increase in the Demand Charge (kW).This adjustment is designed to more fairly collect the Co-op’s costs and give members more control over their electric bills. With this change, most residential members’ bills will decrease or increase by less than two percent, depending on how they use electricity.
See exactly how this change will impact your bill with our Residential Demand Charge Bill Calculator.