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How Cycling Works

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Automatically conserve energy when electricity use is at its peak

Between May 1 and September 30, our regional electricity grid is pushed to peak capacity a few times each month.

During these times when peak demand for electricity challenges our supply, Peak Partners automatically engages the HVACs of participating households in a "conservation event".

Central Air Conditioner

When a conservation event occurs, Fort Collins Utilities will send a wireless signal to your Peak Partners smart thermostat to cycle the compressor of your HVAC. The compressor then operates on and off until energy supply and demand are once again balanced. Your HVAC is never "turned off" - the compressor just operates half the time it did in the hour before the conservation event. Your HVAC fan will continue to run during the conservation event, circulating air throughout your home.

If your HVAC is off during the hour preceding the conservation event, it will remain off for the duration of the event. If you turn it on at any point during the course of an event, your HVAC compressor will only operate 15 minutes of every half hour until the event concludes. At that time, the compressor will return to full operation, cooling your home down to your thermostat temperature setting.

A typical conservation event causes an average 1 to 3 degree rise in temperature. The temperature increase of a home during this time will depend on many variables: outside temperature, size of the air conditioner, sunlight coming through the windows and the length of the conservation event. Most participants in similar programs don't notice when a conservation event is occurring.

A typical conservation event may last two to four hours and likely will occur on three or four weekday afternoons each month, May through September, when electricity demand is exceptionally high.

Your Peak Partners smart thermostat and Dashboard will notify you that a conservation event is taking place. If you're home, you can choose to shift your high energy appliance use to after the conservation event ends. For instance, you could do the laundry and run the dishwasher in the evening.

You have the option of overriding two conservation events each summer. Just use your Peak Partners Dashboard to opt out.

Every kilowatt of electricity not generated during
a conservation event helps:

  • Keep our electricity rates lower over the long term
  • Reduce the amount of carbon emissions and other pollutants associated with peak power generation
  • Delay the construction of new power plants

Help me choose which cycling level is right for me

Choosing the right
cycling level is easy.

Just answer a few quick questions and we'll help you decide which cycling level best fits your lifestyle.

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Question 1

Does anyone in your family have a medical condition that may be affected by increased home temperatures (for example, cardiac or respiratory concerns)?

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Help me choose which cycling level is right for me

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Question 2

Do you have an infant or young child at home?

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Help me choose which cycling level is right for me

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Question 3

Which is more important to you?

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Help me choose which cycling level is right for me

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Question 4

How important is it to you to reduce your home energy use?

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Help me choose which cycling level is right for me

Based on your selections
50% Cycling
is the best choice for
your lifestyle.

This option is best for your comfort. Your A/C compressor operates 50% of the time during the conservation period. Your circulating fan will continue running during conservation periods. Expect a temperature increase of 1-3 degrees.

Young Couple looking at laptop screen

Help me choose which cycling level is right for me

Based on your selections
75% Cycling
is the best choice for
your lifestyle.

This option is better for your budget. Your A/C compressor operates 25% of the time during the conservation period. Your circulating fan will continue running during conservation periods. Expect a temperature increase of 2-4 degrees. This option is not recommended for those with medical conditions or who are sensitive to warm conditions.

Young Couple looking at laptop screen

Help me choose which cycling level is right for me

Based on your selections
100% Cycling
is the best choice for
your lifestyle.

This option is best for your budget. Your A/C compressor does not operate for the duration of the conservation period. Your circulating fan will continue running during conservation periods. Expect a temperature increase of 4-7 degrees. This option is not recommended for those with medical conditions or who are sensitive to warm conditions.

Young Couple looking at laptop screen

Privacy

Fort Collins Utilities takes data privacy very seriously and complies with local, state and federal laws to protect our customers' personal data and information. All customer information - including personal data, utility use and more - are strictly protected. Fort Collins Utilities is subject to the Colorado Open Records Act and Fort Collins Municipal Code, which govern the accessibility of public records. Utilities is also subject to the Red Flags Rules of the FACT Act (Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003), which requires creditors to create and implement a program to detect, prevent and mitigate identity theft.