PPCS is committed to energy conservation through load management, a program carried out together with our power supplier, Dairyland Power Cooperative. Together with our SHIFT for Savings program, PPCS members can make a significant impact on reducing demand, protecting the electric grid, and keeping electric rates flat.
When demand is low, wholesale power is less expensive. PPCS members who sign up for load management take advantage of reduced rates for electric heating and water heating that can be controlled or temporarily turned off during periods of high demand. By controlling these devices through load management, PPCS can balance electric demand more evenly, which helps reduce overall costs.
A recent review of electricity peaks in the MISO (Midwest Independent System Operator) system revealed that 60% of peaks occurred in the morning. This has resulted in modifications to our load/energy management program to help sustain grid reliability.
CHANGES TO DUAL FUEL ELECTRIC HEAT CONTROL HOURS STARTING NOVEMBER 1, 2022
Full Load Control (FLC) will take place in the morning (new for 2022-2023) and economic control events in the evening (as in the past), but FLC and economic control will not happen on the same day.
Members who are not enrolled in load management can also help lower demand by voluntarily shifting the times they use electricity to non-peak periods. In the fall, winter, and spring, that means shifting electric use to before 4 PM and after 8 PM; in summer, lowering electric use from 2 PM to 6 PM. Enroll today to receive SHIFT for Savings notifications when demand on the electric system is high. Sign up today to receive SHIFT for Savings notifications using the form below.
Load management is a tool used to help balance the demand for electricity with the ability to generate and economically purchase electricity. Dairyland and its member cooperatives save money by delaying the need to construct additional power plants and reducing the need to purchase expensive power during periods of high demand.
Dairyland is a member of the Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator (MISO). MISO ensures reliable power and equal access to electric generation and transmission in 15 U.S. states and in Manitoba, Canada. Consequently, Dairyland’s use of load management may also be affected by the energy demands and weather patterns of the larger MISO region.
Load management saves energy and money. When we reduce energy use during peak demand times, we forestall the need to build new, expensive electricity generation facilities and transmission equipment to meet your electrical needs. Load management also provides for more efficient use of the facilities we have, which helps keep rates affordable. It reduces the system’s total demand during peak use hours—generally between 2 to 6 PM in the summer (May-Oct.) and 4 to 8 PM in winter (Nov.-April). A recent review of electricity peaks in the MISO (Midwest Independent System Operator) system revealed that 60% of peaks occurred in the morning. This is causing changes to some load management times. Extremely warm or cold weather also creates a high demand on the energy system, with the increase in air conditioner or furnace use.
For residential members, water heaters may be controlled at any time, and dual-fuel loads will typically be controlled in the morning, from 7-10 a.m. Participants in the dual-fuel program must have hard-wired electric heat (i.e., baseboard, geothermal heat pump, electric boiler), two meters, and a non-electric backup heating source. Dairyland Power restores loads in a manner that safely brings accounts back online so the system doesn’t peak again.
Load management can involve such techniques as interrupting water heaters or air conditioners for short periods of time and controlling when irrigation pumps or grain drying systems run. Most residential customers experience a seamless shift, with members' thermal storage hot water and dual fuel heating systems accommodating the interruption. Commercial and industrial facilities may use generators or reduce the load for a special rate
Electric water heating: All electric water heaters are intended to operate under PPCS’ load management program. Load management of electric water heaters can occur at any time, but during the winter, they are typically interrupted between 6-10 a.m. and 5-9 p.m. In the summer, water heaters are interrupted between 6:00 p.m. and 12:00 a.m., depending on the water heater size. PPCS encourages larger-capacity water heaters to accommodate longer load management durations.
The load management receiver is a small radio receiver that is connected to the electric water heater circuit or the off-peak electric heating equipment. During times of peak load, the receiver picks up a radio signal to interrupt power to the electric water heater, the electric heating equipment, and/or the central air conditioning unit. The lights in the small window of the load management receiver indicate how the receiver is functioning.
Full load control typically takes place when demand for electricity is peaking in the mid-west
Economic control takes place when the market price is too high to pass on the membership
Many anticipated economic controls do not take place but could if the need arose.
Note: Most Thermal Storage (ETS) and large water heaters are controlled daily.
If you are unsure how your control is set up, call 800-924-2133 ext. 114, and we can provide that information based on your off-peak loads.
Members with dual fuel electric resistance heat (baseboard or heat pumps) ) must have a backup heat source when electric heat is controlled and unavailable.
Members with an automatic backup storage or thermostatically controlled heating system can expect to be off for up to six hours during a control time.
It is the homeowner's responsibility to make sure that there is adequate heat to keep the pipes from freezing during a control event. If your home is heated by baseboard only, you may want to investigate adding a thermostatically controlled backup heat, such as an ETS unit or gas fireplace. You may want to check your home for proper insulation levels to help retain the heat in the home.
Under normal conditions, you should not run out of hot water. If you do, please call PPCS, at 800-924-2133, ext. 133. We can help diagnose if you are having a problem with the water heater or if the problem is related to the control time. In most cases, we can change the control time if needed.
Air conditioners participating in load control will be cycled every 15 minutes throughout the control time. Meaning the air conditioner will be on for 15 minutes and off for 15 minutes for the length of the control period.
SHIFT for Savings is a program for PPCS members not enrolled in a load management strategy. Members can enroll in SHIFT for Savings to receive alerts from the cooperative via email, text, or telephone. (If you do not have a texting plan on your cell phone, the standard texting rates will apply.) The message will inform you of the anticipated day and time of the peak period to remind you of the importance of reducing energy consumption during this critical period. Peak use hours are generally from 2 to 6 PM in the summer (May-Oct.) and 4 to 8 PM in winter (Nov.-April).