Pierce Pepin Cooperative Services (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 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 to reduce overall costs.
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.
Thank you for participating in PPCS’ load management program. If you have any questions, please contact us.
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 does so by reducing 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). 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, specific loads may not come back online until 11:00 p.m. Dairyland Power restores loads in a manner that safely brings accounts back online so that 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 simply reduce 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 months 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 the 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.
- Green Light. The green test light will be on most of the time. This light indicates there is a proper power supply and radio signal to the receiver.
- Red Light. The electric water heater is being interrupted.
- Upper Left Red/Lower Left Amber. If you are a participant in PPCS’ dual-fuel program, a red light in the upper left corner or amber light in the lower left corner will appear in the receiver window when your electric heat is being interrupted. Absence of an amber or red light indicates normal operation of your electric heat. Another sign that load management has been initiated is that your backup source of heat will be operating.
- Cold Load Pickup. When power is restored after an outage, all load management receivers go into a 7-10 minute shutdown mode and all lights will be on. Following this phase, your system should again be operating normally.
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 onto the membership
Many anticipated economic controls do not take place but could if the need arose.
Anticipated number of winter control events:
Full load control (FLC) - 5 p.m - 8 p.m. – 3 times in total over December, January, February
Economic control: 5 p.m - 11 p.m based on MISO market pricing (November, December, January, February, March, April)
Electric resistance heat (no backup) - 4 p.m. - 8 p.m.)
Electric heat (with backup) - 4 p.m. - 8 p.m.)
Small water heaters - 4 p.m. - 8 p.m.)
Dairy water heaters - 4 p.m. - 8 p.m.)
Anticipated number of summer control events:
Full load control (FLC) - 2 p.m. - 6 p.m. - maximum of 9 per summer (June, July, August)
Economic control: 2 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. based on MISO market pricing (May, June, July, August, September, October)
Air conditioners – 2 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. (cycle 15 min. on/15 min. off)
Small water heaters – 2 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Large water heaters not on storage - 2 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Dairy water heaters - 2 p.m. - 7 p.m.
Note: Most Electronic Thermal Storage (ETS) and large water heaters are controlled on a daily basis.
If you are not sure 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 electric resistance heat (baseboard or heat pumps) and no storage or thermostatically controlled fossil fuel backup heat can expect to be without heat for up to four hours during a control period.
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 homeowners 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 also 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, 800-924-2133, ext. 114. 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 with be cycled every 15 minutes throughout the control time. Meaning the air conditioner will be on 15 minutes and off 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 call. (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 to reduce the 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).