Energy Management

You can help balance supply and demand

Electric$ense energy management is a name that better reflects what was previously called load management. It helps reduce electricity use when demand for it is high which can lead to spikes in electricity prices. Those regular spikes can lead to future rate increases. Reducing demand through energy management helps keep electric rates stable for all members. MiEnergy Cooperative offers four energy management strategies. Energy management involves techniques such as interrupting water heaters or air conditioners for short periods of time. This reduces our wholesale power supplier's total demand during peak use hours, generally between 3 and 9 p.m. Extremely warm or cold weather also creates an enormous amount of demand on the energy system, with the increase in air conditioner and furnace use.

Central air conditioning systems are typically cycled 15 minutes on then 15 minutes off during a control period, which are typically during hot and humid conditions. The total cycled control time is up to four hours per day, but can be extended to nine hours during periods of peak electrical demand.

If you utilize MiEnergy's energy management program for electric heating, you may be amazed at how competitive it is to heat with electricity when compared to other fuel sources. It can be a very affordable way to heat your whole house or areas that are challenging to keep warm. Beyond being affordable, electric heat provides a clean, safe and consistent form of heat. MiEnergy's energy management electric rate is 7.7¢ per kWh from September to May. The rate is 9.7¢ per kWh for the months of June through August. How does energy management work? There are two types of energy management for heating:

Dual fuel: Typically, on the coldest days of the winter, when demand for electricity is high, your cooperative's power supplier sends a signal to your electric heating system to automatically switch to a backup non-electric heat source. In order to participate in the dual fuel program, the backup heating system must be automatic and capable of heating the entire house during load control periods. The backup source needs to be able to handle a control of 12 hours in any 24-hour period. The backup heating system should also have an adequate supply of fuel during these periods. Electric heat can be interrupted at anytime during the day or night to manage the system peaks.

Heat storage: If your electric heating system is able to store heat (i.e. in-floor heat  in a bed of sand or electric thermal storage technology) your system "charges" during off-peak hours when electric demand is low and then stores the heat energy so it is available whenever the thermostat calls for heat. A stored heating system is typically controlled up to 16 hours a day everyday of the year during peak times.

By participating in MiEnergy's energy management program for water heaters you can save money. Rather than starting up a power plant for a short period of time or purchasing power from the wholesale market when prices are expensive, electric demand is reduced by controlling water heaters. MiEnergy sells electric water heaters that are energy efficient and large enough to be capable of providing you with hot water during control periods. There are basically three classifications of water heater control: 

Residential. Water heaters can be controlled at any time with the maximum control period not exceeding six hours in duration during any 10-hour period. 
Storage. Water heaters are controlled Monday through Friday (typically no weekends or holidays) in the winter from 5:30 am - 1 pm, 3:30 pm - 10 pm and in the summer 11:30 am - 8 pm.
Dairy. Water heaters can be controlled up to six hours, after 5 pm as required.

Should Dairyland Power determine emergency conditions exist, both residential and dairy water heater control times can exceed the six-hour duration. Storage water heaters can be controlled on weekends and holidays during full load control events.

MiEnergy sells water heaters. Learn more.

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