Energy control (sometimes referred to as demand response) includes optional rate-related programs that offer energy price discounts. Only customers that choose to participate in off-peak rates are subject to direct energy control. About one-third of our customers participate in one of these rates. Energy control programs are a true partnership between our customers and our company because:
- Customers can buy electricity for 30% to 50% less than the price of our standard (uncontrolled) service rate.
- We can reduce and better manage the load on our lines—and avoid unplanned and high-priced energy purchases.
Here are some typical questions we hear about energy control.
What happens when energy is controlled?
During an energy-control event we send a radio signal to a receiver installed near the customer's off-peak electric meter. The radio signal activates a switch, which turns off the connected equipment. When demand conditions improve, a second radio signal returns the equipment to normal operation.
Do participants receive energy-control notification?
Customers who wish to be notified about anticipated or current energy control can sign up for energy control notices.
When is direct energy control used?
Energy control most often is required during:
- Periods of high demand. When a large number of our customers use a lot of electrical devices at the same time. These periods historically have occurred during extreme weather conditions.
- Testing or system maintenance. For example, while our crews are restoring power after a storm.
- Periods of high-priced wholesale energy. At times we may need to buy energy to supplement or replace the power that our own generation resources produce. If energy on the wholesale market is selling at higher prices, we control to reduce demand and to control costs—which helps to keep our energy prices affordable for all our customers.