Charles Mix Electric actively promotes the use of load management to its members. Receivers are installed by Charles Mix Electric or a qualified electrician at our expense.
Control of load is done by East River Electric Power Cooperative, in Madison, South Dakota. Load Management is implemented when electricity use in Eastern South Dakota reaches a predetermined point or "peak". Signals are sent over the power lines to the receivers, which then cycle the load.
Current load control status with other information can be found at this site: http://www.eastriver.coop/FTP/EREPC_lm_general.asp
Electric water heaters are a big part of the load management system in eastern South Dakota. Water heaters can be controlled at any time with the "off time" as long as 4.5 hours. In extreme conditions, water heaters will be cycled on for approximately 1 hour, and then controlled again if necessary. After the "peak" passes the receiver is again sent a signal which restores the water heater to normal operation.
All Members of Charles Mix Electric using an electric water heater are eligible to participate in the load management program. Participating in the program also entitles members to a credit of up to $6.24 per month which can be subtracted from the member's electric bill.
Residential heating loads are no longer included in an active control program through East River Electric. Thus Charles Mix Electric no longer promotes or maintains these types of controls. Future load growth may, at some point, require East River to implement this type of program, although such is not the case in the foreseeable future.
Air Conditioners are also a staple of the load management system. Control of AC systems is done by cycling the outdoor compressors off for 15 minutes and then back on for 15 minutes. System-wide, the air conditioners are alternated, half of them on, half of them off. This control strategy can last hours or even days if necessary.
There are other types of load management controls implemented at Charles Mix Electric, but none are as wide spread as the water heaters and air conditioners. These are industrial loads, irrigation loads, grain drying loads and commercial heating loads.