What is a Demand-Side Management Program?
A Demand-Side Management program has been designed and implemented by Hoosier Energy and the 18 member distribution electric cooperative owners to work together through this program to reduce the amount of electricity needed in critical periods of electric usage by installing a Demand Response Unit (DRU) in your home that on command, will control the amount of electricity used by your water heater and air conditioner during pre-determined critical load periods.
What is peak demand?
In the energy business, “load” is the amount of energy a system is using at any given time. During the year, the amount of energy needed, or the “energy demand” fluctuates depending on weather conditions. When demand for electricity is at its highest, that is called a “peak demand” period.
What is a Demand Response Unit Switch (DRU)?
The DRU switch is a small device that is mounted in your home near your water heater or air conditioning control wiring. The switch enables your REMC and power supplier to communicate with your water heater and air conditioner during critical periods of energy consumption throughout the power network. The DRU switch will cycle your water heater and air conditioner during pre-determined critical load periods. This 2 to 3 hour control period will typically occur 4 to 8 times per month during the summer and winter months.
How will my switch work?
The switch will cycle your air conditioner when the thermostat is calling for cooling. Your indoor fan will run continuously on a call for cooling. This means it will continue to circulate the air that has already been cooled inside your home to keep you comfortable. The water heater is cycled in a similar manner during the peak summer and winter days.
If my switch fails or is damaged, will it prevent my equipment from working?
Your switch is an extremely reliable piece of equipment. It is designed to allow your equipment to work normally in the unlikely event of a failure. How does the switch cycle my air conditioner compressor? The switch is connected to the control or low voltage wiring between your thermostat and your compressor. The switch interrupts power to your compressor just as if you are controlling it from your thermostat by adjusting the temperature setting.
How does the switch cycle my water heater?
The switch is connected to the 240-volt electrical supply to the water heater and a relay contained within the DRU switch is used to cycle the water heater.
What if I have more than one air conditioner or water heater? Will I receive additional credits?
No, we will install the switch on the primary use equipment only, one water heater and one central air conditioning unit per household. But just remember that this program is never at any cost to you, the member, and the seasonal (June, July, August - December, January, February) monthly credits will continue for as long as you have your switch.
Does having this switch also decrease my electric bill beyond my incentives?
Any decrease in your bill will be small - if any. However, by curbing the peak demand we can minimize rate increases by reducing the need to purchase additional electricity at peak demand, also delaying the building of expensive new power plants, which is a shared expense with you, the consumer, over the long term. With everyone participating we can and will make a difference in preserving the environment while saving money. The only thing you have to do is call us at 812-689-4111 or call toll free 1-800-737- 4111 and ask for the Demand Side Management Coordinator.
Current control periods and incentive amounts:
Summer Periods are typically late afternoons (5-8 p.m. EDT) on the hottest days. $15.00/ month (June, July, and August) for water heater and central air conditioner controls.
Winter Periods are typically early morning (7-10 a.m. EDT) or late afternoon (6-9 p.m.EDT) on the coldest days. $5.00/ month (December, January, and February) for water heater control only.
The current annual incentive is $60, which is subject to change upon approval by the board of directors.