System Demand (kW) FAQs


What is system demand?
  • >System Demand is the amount of power needed to supply every electrical device running in your home or business at a specific point in time. BEC calculates this every 15 minutes throughout each day of the billing cycle. The System Charge is derived from the highest 15-minute load measured during the peak hours of 7 AM to 10 AM and 4 PM to 8 PM every day in the billing cycle. During the month, the highest load on BEC’s electric system during the peak hours is charged at $2 per kW on the System Charge line on your monthly bill.
What is the monthly peak system demand?
  • It is the maximum rate at which your household consumed electricity during the billing month. You will find your individual Monthly Peak System Demand (kW) on your monthly bill statement. The Monthly Peak System Demand (kW) graph shows your current billing month peak including date and time, historical monthly peaks, and your highest historical peak appears in orange.
Why bill system demand?
  • Beartooth Electric is breaking out System Demand from the Energy Usage to provide more equity among members in a rate class. Some members create more system demand by using more appliances at the same time and as a result, a higher demand for electricity.
  • The industry, and many utilities are beginning to see a need to move to a three-part bill, with a system demand charge, energy usage charge, and a base charge. In the past, it was easier and cheaper to bill metered kWh usage and all other charge components under the energy charge. With today’s affordable technology that captures system demand, it makes sense to unbundle the system demand charge and make sure everyone pays their fair share, removing past subsidies among members.
How will the system demand affect my bill?
  • It depends, and each household is different. Members who manage the number of items used at one time may see their bill decrease; other members who use or tend to use or need to use everything at one time may see a slight increase. There’s no good way to project the effect at this time because each member’s household is different. Our best recommendation is to ask family members to avoid turning on all appliances at one time during the daily System Charge periods of 7:00 AM-10:00 AM and 4:00 PM-8:00 PM, if that’s possible. We understand that for some busy families that simply won’t be possible. You are only billed $2 per KW for the highest demand for the month placed on BEC’s system during those critical hours throughout the month. Your Bill shows the day and time of your maximum load placed on BEC during those critical hours.
What affects system demand?
  • Everything with a plug, from a hairdryer, clothes dryer, tractor heater, stock tank heater, etc. affects your system demand.
  • Beartooth Electric offers a System Demand Calculator, which shows the kW required to power a number of appliances to help members understand how appliances and equipment affect demand. Visit the System Demand Calculator now.
  • For general information on appliances, we suggest visiting’s a comprehensive list of appliances and information about their efficiency. If you’re shopping for appliances, we recommend looking for the Energy Star label, as it will be among the most efficient.
How much does lighting affect my system demand?
  • Very little, because lighting represents less than 15 percent of the average household electric bill, and it’s possible to lower that by using LEDs, and of course, turning off lights when not needed.
How can I reduce my system demand?
  • All households that use electricity create a certain level of demand. The easiest way to reduce system demand while meeting household energy consumption requirements is to spread usage throughout the day and night, definitely not during the daily System Charge periods of 7:00 AM-10:00 AM and 4:00 PM-8:00 PM, and perhaps with the help of appliance timers.
  • Now is a good time to review household or business processes and determine if it’s possible to perform high energy-consuming tasks at different times of the day.
  • The prime candidates include your washer, dryer, computer, and dishwasher.
How can I monitor my system demand?
  • Members can see their monthly peak system demand on their bills.
  • For those interested in managing their system demand, we recommend signing up for SmartHub, BEC’s online and mobile device account, and energy management tool, we recommend you sign up for SmartHub access now from this link, or download the SmartHub app from your mobile device app store. With SmartHub, you can view your energy usage by the hour, day, and month to help you manage your usage. Please note, meter data reporting lags one day into the SmartHub system.
  • Managing your System Demand is as simple as being aware and spacing ou activities and not running all of the large appliances or equipment at the same time, and especially not during the System Demand periods of 7:00 AM-10:00 AM and 4:00 PM-8:00 PM.
I can't help what my system demand is. Why am I being penalized?
  • There is no penalty for the system demand that a member sets: every household using electric service has “system demand,”  and have always paid for it. System Demand charges were bundled with a portion in the Energy Charge and a portion in the Base Charge. Now with affordable technology, BEC is able to measure system demand and bill separately, giving members the opportunity to control it. Unbundled charges for system demand more fairly distribute the costs of providing service to those members who use large amounts of electricity at one time.
  • BEC has planned and prepared the distribution system to meet each member’s system demand needs even when it is not a daily occurrence. Equipment to meet members’ system demand is always on standby and ready to immediately meet any increased need for electricity. We’ve got your electric needs covered day and night.