What is Load Management?
Electric cooperative member-owners across the state have saved millions of dollars by allowing their generation supplier, Buckeye Power, to control their use of electricity at certain times though Load Management. Electricity cost is highest when it is most needed, which is less than one percent of the hours in a year. The maximum or “peak” amount of electricity used determines North Western Electric’s future costs of power. When the peak goes up, so does the cost. By reducing the demand for electricity created by electric water heaters, home-heating systems and central air-conditioning systems of our member-owners, the cooperative reduces its costs of power. When you volunteer to participate in the Load Management program, you are joining thousands of other electric cooperative member-owners across Ohio to control use of electricity and save money.
Peak demand typically occurs in the mornings and evenings on a few of the most hot and humid summer days (between 4 and 10 p.m.) and a few exceedingly cold and windy winter days (between 6 and 10 a.m. and 5 and 9 p.m.). Buckeye Power is a member of the PJM Regional Transmission Organization (RTO). This means there may be a need to control in our area based on the east coast experiencing high temperatures and humidity as well.
Radio Controlled Switches
The radio controlled switch (RCS) is an essential part of the load management program. Whenever there is a risk of reaching a new peak, the RCS attached to the applicable appliances are activated, temporarily interrupting electricity. Since the water in the electric water heater stays warm for several hours without power, most member-owners will never notice the temporary shutdown. Home heating systems qualifying for load management have a back-up system to continue providing heat for the home. On the air conditioning units, it simply cycles the compressor of your cooling unit for brief periods of time, approximately 15 minutes in most cases. This does not control your thermostat or harm your cooling system. Cool air continues to circulate through your home. There is a $3/month discount applied to your bill for having a RCS installed.
What do the RCS display lights mean?
When switches are activated, a red light illuminates on the RCS. There is also a green light on the RCS, which should always be on to indicate there is power to the RCS. The green light may be solid or blinking, both mean the unit has power.