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Electrical Power
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by Rich Reis | 2009

Mr. Bennet, my high school physics teacher, liked to remind his students that our parents’ electric bills reflect the energy, not the power we use. However, because electrical capacity and loads vary by season and by time of day, commercial and industrial energy costs also vary by season and time of day. These customers also pay for peak power costs. PEPCO and other utilities are now offering incentives to allow them to remotely turn off our air conditioning systems using Digital Cycling Units (DCU) during some summer afternoons

Mr. Bennet, my high school physics teacher, liked to remind his students that our parents electric bills reflect the energy, not the power we use. However, because electrical capacity and loads vary by season and by time of day, commercial and industrial energy costs also vary by season and time of day. These customers also pay for peak power costs. PEPCO and other utilities are now offering incentives to allow them to remotely turn off our air conditioning systems using Digital Cycling Units (DCU) during some summer afternoons.

Local power companies are trying to build PATH and MAPP transmission lines to address peak power demands, as well as to deliver coal-generated electricity from Kentucky and West Virginia. Alternative energy can play an important role here because wind-generated electricity tends to be strongest during off-peak times. Further, solar energy in our region is generally distributed close to the points of use and peak output roughly coincides with peak air-conditioning demand on summer afternoons.

You can learn more about MAPP and PATH and what we can do about them at: http://maryland.sierraclub.org/action/p0204.asp.

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