Why is understanding the grid important?

Not all energy is created equal. Depending on when you draw your power, how much you draw overall, and how much you draw at any one moment, both your energy bill and your carbon footprint can be drastically different. Energy producers must be flexible when it comes to providing power for their customers, but this flexibility comes at a cost. The prices they charge for that power depends on how hard they have to work to produce it.

Grid action items:

  • Visit your state’s energy site to familiarize yourself with the energy pricing systems in your area.
  • Stagger HVAC equipment start times to prevent them from coming on all at once and help reduce your peak demand.
  • Stagger the time when building lights and HVAC systems turn on so that the lights don’t come on until HVAC has had a chance to condition the space and its power draw is not as heavy.
  • Use cooling systems which use off peak energy, such as ice generators for HVAC cooling.
  • Purchase your energy from as many green power sources as possible. Many states offer green power purchasing plans.
  • Calculate your avoided emissions.