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Understanding Demand
Why Change?

Understanding Demand

A demand charge is a variable charge that’s measured in kilowatts (kW), and it’s based on the intensity at which electricity is used at a given time. Meaning, if your AC unit is running at the same time as your dishwasher, oven, dryer, or any other large electrical appliance, your electrical demand will be higher than if you were to spread out the use of those appliances throughout the day.

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How is demand measured?


During the summer months of June through September, we measure demand based on your highest 15-minute usage period between 3-7 p.m.


The rest of the year, your peak demand is set at the highest 15-minute usage period at any time of day during your billing cycle.

Calculate Your Demand


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Why is decreasing demand important?

Currently, we build and maintain an electrical grid that can support the highest potential demand from all customers. The small red peak on the graph shows the highest demand and stress placed on our electrical grid in 2020. 

It’s expensive to build and maintain this system when we only need to support that much electricity use during a short period of time each year. If we can all decrease our demand, we can eventually lower the cooperative’s costs for the electrical system, resulting in lower costs for all customers in the future.

What other charges impact my bill?

On January 1, 2023, Midwest Energy implemented a new three-part rate structure for residential and small business electric rate classes.

Customer Charge

Fixed $28/month charge. This is unchanged.

Energy Charge

A variable charge based on the amount of kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity used during the month.

Demand Charge

A new charge, measured in kilowatts (kW), based on the intensity at which electricity is used at a given time.


Four-Year Phase In

This new rate structure will be phased in over four years to allow everyone time to adjust. Although residential electric bills now show monthly demand, you will not be charged for demand until January 1, 2024.

No overall increase

As demand charges are introduced, energy charges will decline each year, offsetting much (in some cases, all) of the demand charge. This means average residential customers will see no overall increase in their electricity bills.

Using CustomerConnect

Using CustomerConnect is the easiest way to view your electricity use and demand as well as manage your account. Through this online portal, you’re able to:

Demand Calculator

Use this tool to see how your demand charge could impact your bill and how you can save money.

Upcoming Events

Interested in learning more about demand rates? Attend one of our upcoming events in your community.

No public meetings are currently scheduled.

Frequently Asked Questions

Demand charges are a more accurate and transparent way to bill customers according to the impact each customer places on the grid and generating resources. By sending a price signal to reflect actual costs, customers can influence individual bills immediately and overall capacity costs in the long run.

The demand charge recovers fixed costs (transformers, power lines, generating resources, etc.) based on the intensity at which energy is used. A demand charge line item appears on residential customer bills with a $0 charge in 2023, and in Jan. 2024 the charge will gradually increase over three years while the energy charge decreases.

An independent cost-of-service study was performed this year to allocate costs across all rate classes. A cost-of-service study identifies the cost of providing service to each rate class as a function of load and service characteristics. These studies provide a useful guideline for assigning cost responsibility in a way that is fair and equitable.

Midwest Energy customers can access Customer Connect, an online portal that provides secure access to detailed electric usage viewable in monthly, weekly, daily or even 15-minute increments. To access Customer Connect, visit and click the “login” button to access your Midwest Energy account. Once logged in, click the Customer Connect logo, which takes you to your usage dashboard. This video offers a short explanation of how to view your demand in Customer Connect.

Midwest Energy’s Board of Directors and executive staff continuously monitor the financial position of the cooperative and industry trends across the country to determine if or when a rate increase or rate design change is necessary. An independent, experienced firm was hired to conduct a cost-of-service study, and recommend changes to rate designs.

The revised rates took effect January 1, 2023. However, residential customers will not be billed for demand charges until January 1, 2024. This allows time for Midwest Energy to conduct a customer education campaign on demand rates, and to help customers better understand how they can lower their demand to control costs.

We’d be happy to provide an estimate on how demand rates could impact future bills, based on your home’s actual past usage. Please call Ryan Hammerschmidt at 1-800-222-3121 for your estimate.
Spreading out the use of large electrical appliances will reduce your demand. During the summer months of June through September, demand charges are measured between 3-7 p.m. The rest of the year, your demand charge is set at the point of highest demand at any point in your billing cycle. Focusing on controlling demand in this narrow time window will lower your demand, and your bill.

Questions about demand rates? Please call us at 1-800-222-3121.