Horry Electric continually and carefully monitors energy use and load patterns on the system. When it appears we’re going to be close to hitting a peak, we go into load control.
Load control is an operational technique known universally in the electric utility world as conservation voltage reduction (CVR).
Load control is put into action to curtail load during periods of high electricity consumption. Load is curtailed by simply reducing voltage at the substation level. There is no impact on power quality, but the demand, energy and line losses are reduced on the entire system.
According to Electric Power Research Institute data, every 1 percent change in voltage reduction results in an average of 0.8 percent reduction in kilowatt load. By reducing the load on the system, Horry Electric and sister cooperatives throughout South Carolina are able to avoid hitting ‘peak’, which is the time when there is a large demand on the system for electricity.
During normal load periods Horry Electric pays a few cents per kilowatt-hour for power. However, when we reach a peak demand or energy periods when the temperatures rise or dramatically drop, we can pay up to one dollar per kilowatt-hour. In turn, we must pass these higher costs on to members which may have an impact on rates.
The demand for electricity on Horry Electric’s system is greatest in the winter months between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m. and, in the summer months, between 2 p.m. until 6 p.m. Please keep that in mind any time you start use any major appliances such as dishwashers, washing machines or clothes dryers.