What is peak demand?
In the energy business, "load" is the amount of energy a system is using at any given time. During the year, the amount of energy needed — or the "energy demand" — fluctuates depending on weather conditions or business hours of commercial or industrial customers. When demand for electricity is at its highest, that's called a "peak" period.
Think of "peak energy demand" like a busy grocery store on the day before a holiday or a Saturday afternoon. The store is extremely busy with long lines of people checking out. Every single checkout lane is staffed because there is a high demand for groceries at that time.
But visit the same grocery store on a weekday afternoon any other time of the year. There are fewer customers in the store, and most of the time a single checkout lane is sufficient. However, the store is prepared to meet the demands of customers on those few busy days each year.
That's the way it is with generating electricity. Power plants are built to ensure an adequate supply of electricity is available to serve customers on the busiest — often the hottest or the coldest — days of the year.
Every customer shares the load on the system to some degree every single day. Demand Conservation allows customers to share the load at times during heavy demand or peak usage.