The state's largest utility says a new rate program will allow customers to save money while helping the utility to cut demand for electricity.
Green Mountain Power customers who sign up will be notified a day in advance when the utility wants to cut overall power use. The program is voluntary and is aimed at customers who agree to try to reduce energy demand for up to ten days a year from May through September.
Dorothy Schnure is a GMP spokeswoman. She says customers who enroll will pay a lower rate if they’re able to reduce their energy consumption during those high peak days.
“So what that does, is on days of high use, when energy costs are really high, if customers can reduce their use between the hours of noon and 8 p.m. it saves money for all of our customers,” she says. “And so we’re able to set it up so that customers who can reduce use during that time are able to save money themselves.”
The new rates are for residential customers only. Schnure says customers can reduce demand by raising the thermostat on air conditioners, or delaying their use of appliances such as dishwashers and dryers.
The utility says when electricity use peaks during summer months, more expensive generation is needed. Customers must make a one year commitment and have a smart meter installed in order to join GMP’s “Empower” program.