Understanding demand

Demand is the amount of power needed to supply every electrical device running in your home at a specific point in time.

Think about it like your Internet service. When one person streams a movie or television show on a device in your home, the stream works perfectly. But as additional people in your home attempt to stream video at the same time, more bandwidth is needed.

Electricity demand is similar. As more appliances in your home run simultaneously, your demand for power increases. For example, ten 100-watt light bulbs demand 1,000-watts (1 kilowatt) of electricity (10x100) to stay lit.

Certain appliances – such as HVAC units, electric ovens and clothes dryers – demand significant power from the grid. That's why not running them at the same time is important to minimize the Demand Charge.

The graphic below illustrates this concept, and why managing demand has a positive effect on the power grid.

Illustraion explaining demanding showing by showing how 1 100-watt lightbulb burning for 10 hours, requires 1 100-watt generator, and uses 1 kilowatt hour of energy. A separate panel shows how 10 100-watt bulbs burinng for 1 hour uses the same 1 kilowatt hour of energy, but requires 10 100-watt motors to generate the energy needed.