North Arkansas Electric Co-op exceeds record peak demand

North Arkansas Electric Co-op exceeds record peak demand
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

Region 8 News Desk - North Arkansas Electric Cooperative exceeded record peak electric demand Wednesday.

The electric company that serves numerous members in Region 8, said the previous record was set in January 2014.

"When we set a demand, we take the entire system and we see what the electric demand is at that point in time," CEO Mel Coleman said. "Demand is that point in time when an amount of electricity is being called for by the members of the electric cooperatives."

It was an 8% increase in the highest peak demand ever set, summer or winter, according to Coleman.

Luckily, Coleman said the system held up Wednesday.

"When you get extreme weather, it's like going into the doctor for a nuclear stress test on your heart," he said. "It stresses the entire system and you find your weak spots."

The weaknesses include the dreaded power outages; however, Coleman said they didn't have any outages through this.

"This tells us that our system is in really good shape," he said.

But, bills will go up this month.

"Members have become very accustom to electric bills that were moderate because we had very moderate winters," Coleman said. "Since 2014, we haven't seen a harsh winter. So, this is going to be one of those sticker shock bills that go out at the end of the month because of the extreme weather that we have had."

Coleman wants this time to touch base on energy efficiency. He talked about a program the NAEC offers to customers.

"We offer energy audits to come into a customer's home and help them find ways to reduce energy consumptions making your home tighter," he said. "We don't want people to be uncomfortable. "We want people to be as warm as they want in the winter months and as cool as they want in the summer months."

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