Q&A: If you sign up for load managment with your electric company do you use less electricity?

Question by Dave: If you sign up for load managment with your electric company do you use less electricity?
I was thinking about signing up for my electric company’s load management system. They offer credits of about 24 dollars for signing up per month. That is pretty cool, but I am wondering will I actually use less electricity as well? Therefore saving even more money on the actual bill? Or do I only get savings from the credits they give?

Best answer:

Answer by Stephen M
You may end up using less electricity, but you also may not.

It all depends on your usage patterns, which we do not know.

A load management system will turn off certain loads in your home, such as an AC, washer, dryer, etc during times of high demand.

Now if the loads being dropped aren’t on anyway, you could end up saving money with no downside at all to you and you could still use exactly the same amount of power on a monthly basis as before.

On the other hand, if the load they turn off is your AC and you are at home when it is turned off, you could end up being rather uncomfortable for a while. This could reduce your over all electrical demand for the month, but it also might not.

Load management does nothing to control the amount of electricity you use. It does let the electrical company control the peak loads they have to be able to supply power for and that allows them to pass some of the savings on to you.

Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!

One Response to “Q&A: If you sign up for load managment with your electric company do you use less electricity?”

  1. Breath on the Wind says:

    It really depends upon the particular load management system. There has been a lot of media about turning off certain loads in your house. This is almost certainly NOT the way it will be implemented. Rather your entire house will probably be cut off. What you need to know is how often and for how long. Turning off the fridge, computer, TV and AC might be fine during a workweek for an hour or less. But what if you were home?

    The reason the entire house is more likely to be turned off is an issue of switching. The utility needs to conserve power at a reasonable cost. How would they interrupt specific loads in 10,000 homes. Every load would require a separate switch. The control wiring might be done through the internet but every load in your home to be turned off would require a separate switching device. It could be done and may eventually be done, but it will be far cheaper to simply turn off your entire house for a limited time.

    As far as expense, you are unlikely to save any additional amount unless it they need to turn off the power. Once the power is off the meter will not be spinning and your usage that the meter measures will be reduced. You will have to read the fine print to see if this can make a difference in how the bill is to be calculated.