BED issues Defeat the Peak Alert for today

Encourages Community to Reduce Energy Usage from 5:00-7:00pm

Vermont Business Magazine Burlington Electric Department (BED) issued a peak alert for today/Thursday, June 20, as part of its Defeat the Peak program launched during summer 2017, encouraging members of the Burlington community to reduce their energy usage from 5:00-7:00pm today. The purpose of the Defeat the Peak program is to reduce our energy costs by reducing usage during a peak event. Burlingtonians can lend a hand by taking the following steps on what is projected to be an unusually hot summer day:

  1. Raise thermostat temperatures or turn off air conditioners between the hours of 5:00 and 7:00pm before returning air conditioners to cooler settings;
  2. Wait until after 7:00pm or later to use washing machines, clothing dryers, dishwashers, and other appliances;
  3. Turn off non-essential lights until 7:00pm and later;
  4. Avoid charging electric vehicles until after 7:00pm (or until 10:00pm if you are on BED’s special off-peak charging rate); and
  5. Delay other discretionary electric consumption until after 7:00pm.


BED has called the peak alert due to extreme regional temperatures. The New England region reaches peak demand for electricity during the summer. A significant portion of BED’s costs as a utility is determined by how much energy our community is using during the summer peak.

Two more traditional incentives for Burlingtonians who take peak day actions include: potential reductions in utility costs that help keep electric rates low and stable; and environmental benefits that come with reduced energy demand on the regional electric grid, which decreases the need for use of polluting oil and natural gas generators around New England. 

A more unique and innovative incentive introduced by BED based on customer input is a community reward opportunity through which a local nonprofit – in this case Boy Scout Troop 658 – will benefit from a $1,000 contribution from BED if our customers hit the targeted amount of load reduction on a peak alert day.

With high temperatures forecasted for this week, Burlington has activated neighborhood cooling centers through Friday, June 21. Cooling center locations include: Department of Public Works/Burlington Parks, Recreation & Waterfront, 645 Pine Street; Fletcher Free Library, 235 College Street; City Hall, 149 Church Street; Old North End Community Center, 20 Allen Street; Leddy Arena, 216 Leddy Park Road; and Fletcher Free Library, New North End Branch, 1127 North Avenue.

“We are excited to continue Defeat the Peak for our eighth year, focusing on reducing energy use and cost for Burlington customers,” stated Darren Springer, BED General Manager. “It is important to note that Defeat the Peak is not related to grid reliability. Rather, BED can save money for all of our customers and protect our environment by reducing energy use during peak events and lessening our contribution to peak energy demand. We want our customers first and foremost to stay safe during the upcoming heat wave and to utilize City cooling centers as needed. We also ask that, where possible, customers take small steps such as unplugging phone and laptop charging cords, adjusting thermostats a few degrees, and waiting until after the peak to run dishwashers and other appliances. With your help, we can continue to hit our peak reduction targets, and we will be able to support Boy Scout Troop 658 with its important work in Burlington and beyond.”

“Troop 658 is grateful to partner with Burlington Electric Department on its Defeat the Peak campaign,” stated Sebastian Szykier, Scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 658, a nonprofit that engages in community service in and around Burlington. “Our scouts take great pride in engaging in community service in Burlington, including  cooking and distributing dinner for those in need at the Salvation Army and Hope Lodge, participating in Green Up Day, cleaning and placing new flags in Burlington cemeteries, and helping to conserve native habitat at the Ethan Allen Homestead. BED’s Defeat the Peak campaign aligns with our commitment to teach youth about the importance of conserving our natural resources for future generations. We are very grateful that BED line worker Ciaran Canavan, 2024 winner of BED’s Jim Reardon Public Service Award, selected our troop as BED’s defeat the peak partner.”

Source: 6.20.2024. Burlington, VT – Burlington Electric Department

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