What does supply and demand have to do with energy costs?

Generating and transmitting electricity is a complicated process that requires careful calibration. Among many factors, energy has to be generated at the precise moment you want to use it. That means the more people who are trying to use energy at the same time (demand), the more difficult it is to supply—and that can increase the cost. The grid has to work even harder during times of intense demand to ensure nobody is left without energy.

The reality is none of us is ever the only one using power. In fact, many of our power demands follow the same schedule.

During peak demand times, energy is likely to cost more. You can help manage your personal energy costs by making changes in your schedule to avoid peak use times. Small choices can have a big impact:

Gain a better understanding of the ins and out of your energy bills.

Shift your usage time. Try running your dishwasher, dryer, or other major appliances in the evening, or program them to run during the night if you have the option.

Consider taking advantage of smart thermostats or a NEST.

Pay attention to how much energy you’re using during peak times. Can you raise or lower the thermostat a few extra degrees? Do you have lights or appliances on in rooms you aren’t using?

Do you have other suggestions for ways Michiganders like you can take advantage of time of use to reduce energy costs?  Share them with us!