When demand is low, wholesale power is less expensive. Off-peak enables Polk-Burnett members to take advantage of reduced rates for electric hard-wired heat and/or electric water heaters of 80 gallons or greater that can be controlled or temporarily turned off for economic reasons or during periods of high demand. By controlling these devices with a radio receiver through a process called load management, Polk-Burnett can balance electric demand more evenly which helps to reduce overall costs.
Load Management FAQs
When we reduce energy use during peak demand times, we forestall the need to build new, expensive electricity generation facilities and transmission equipment to meet your electrical needs. Load management also provides for more efficient use of the facilities we have, which helps keep rates affordable.
Controlling is done with a Comverge (approx. 6” x 8”) or Entek (approx. 2” x 4”) radio receiver with indicator lights.
• Green lights indicate power to the receiver.
• Yellow lights indicate control of A/C and electric resistant heat, such as baseboard and heat pumps.
• Red lights indicate control of all participating water heaters and storage heat such as Steffes electric thermal storage heaters and Marathon® 80-105 gallon water heaters.
If your radio receiver is a Scientific Atlanta or a General Electric model please call (800) 421-0283, ext. 595, to schedule an upgrade to a digital receiver at no cost.
If there is a blinking yellow light on the receiver please call for a service signal to be sent out to clear the receiver.
This is typical during the overnight hours or if the breaker that powers your load management device is turned off. Otherwise, there is always a green light (solid or intermittent) displayed in the radio receiver window indicating everything is working properly.
If at any time power to the radio receiver is interrupted, power to the water heater and/or electric heat is delayed seven and one-half minutes after power is restored to the receiver. During this seven and one-half minutes the lights in the receiver will be going on/off until the correct control signal is locked in.
Under normal conditions, you should not run out of hot water. If you do, please call Polk-Burnett, 800-421-0283, ext. 595. We can help diagnose if you are having a problem with the water heater or if the problem is related to the control time. In most cases we can change the control time if needed.
Full load control typically takes place when demand for electricity is peaking in the mid-west
Economic control takes place when the market price is too high to pass onto the membership
Many anticipated economic controls do not take place, but could if the need arose.
Anticipated number of winter control events:
Full load control (FLC) - 5 p.m - 9 p.m. - 1 per month (December, January, February)
Economic control: 5 p.m - 11 p.m based on MISO market pricing (November, December, January, February, March, April)
Electric resistance heat (no backup) - 10 times (5 p.m. - 8 p.m.)
Electric heat (with backup) - 30 times (5 p.m - 9 p.m)
Small water heaters - 10 times (5 p.m - 9 p.m)
Dairy water heaters - 2 times (5 p.m - 10 p.m)
Anticipated number of summer control events:
Full load control (FLC) - 2 p.m. - 6 p.m - 3 per month max of 9 per summer (June, July, August)
Economic control: 6:30 p.m - 10:30 p.m. based on MISO market pricing (May, June, July, August, September, October)
Air conditioners - 20 times (6 p.m. - 10:30 p.m.)
Small water heaters - 10 times (7 p.m - 11 p.m.)
Large water heaters not on storage - 10 times (6 p.m. - midnight)
Dairy water heaters - 2 times (6 p.m. - 11 p.m.)
Note: Most Electronic Thermal Storage (ETS) and large water heaters are controlled on a daily basis.
If you are not sure how your control is set up, call 800-421-0283 ext. 595 and we can provide that information based on your off-peak loads.
Members with electric resistance heat (baseboard or heat pumps) and no storage or thermostatically controlled fossil fuel backup heat can expect to be without heat for up to four hours during a control period.
Members with an automatic backup storage or thermostatically controlled heating system can expect to be off for up to six hours during a control time.
It is the homeowners responsibility to make sure that there is adequate heat to kept the pipes from freezing during a control event. If your home is heated by baseboard only, you may want to look into adding a thermostatically controlled backup heat, such as an ETS unit or gas fireplace. You may want to check your home for proper insulation levels also to help retain the heat in the home. Polk-Burnett offers a rebate for home testing and subsequent improvements based on the test results.
Interruptible (dual fuel) heat 2/2W, (2A/2B/2W) are electric heat loads that have an automatic backup heat source and are controlled up to 6 hours.
Interruptible heat 4B are loads of electric resistance heat with no automatic back up heat source and are controlled up to 4 hours. (baseboard only)
2019-2020 season - interruptible (dual fuel) heat 2/2W was controlled 2 times for a total of 10 hours and interruptible heat 4B was controlled 2 times for a total of 7 hours. (so far)
2018-2019 season - interruptible heat 2A,2B, 2C was controlled 4 times for a total of 19 hours and interruptible heat 4B was controlled 4 times for a total of 10.5 hours.
2017-2018 season - Interruptible heat 2A,2B,2C was controlled 6 times for a total of 25 hours and interruptible heat 4B was controlled 4 times for a total of 11 hours.
2016-2017 season - Interruptible heat 2A/2B,2C was controlled 5 times for a total of 24.5 hours and interruptible heat 4B was controlled 4 times for a total of 12 hours.
2015-2016 season - Interruptible heat 2A,2B,2C was controlled 4 times for a total of 20.5 hours and interruptible heat 4B was controlled 4 times for a total of 12 hours.
2014-2015 season - Interruptible heat 2A,2B,2C was controlled 9 times for a total of 37.5 hours and Interruptible heat 4B was controlled 8 times for a total of 21 hours.
Air conditioners participating in load control with be cycled every 15 minutes throughout the control time. Meaning the air conditioner will be cycled 15 minutes on - 15 minutes off - 15 minutes on - 15 minutes off each hour for the length of the control period.
2019 - A/C on load control was cycled on 5 dates totaling 23 hours - 5 full load control events, cycling 2 p.m - 6 p.m.
2018 - A/C on load control was cycled on 9 dates totaling 42 hours - 9 full load control events, cycling 2 p.m. - 6 p.m.
2017 - A/C on load control was cycled on 6 dates totaling 26 hours - 5 full load control events, cycling 2 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. The other day cycled after 6 p.m.
2016 - A/C on load control was cycled on 14 dates totaling 56 hours - 6 full load control events, cycling 1 p.m. - 5 p.m. The other 8 days, cycling after 6 p.m.
2015 - A/C on load control was cycled on 10 dates totaling 39.5 hours - 7 full load control events, cycling 1 p.m. - 5 p.m. The other 3 days, economic control, cycling after 6 p.m.
Do you have baseboard heat only? Geothermal heat only?
If you would like to receive a notification of a load control event please fill out the form on the load management page to enroll.
Once enrolled Dairyland Power will send out a phone call, email, or text message as you requested. These alerts are sent out usually no earlier than 1-2 hours before the scheduled load control event.
If you have electric heat with no automatic backup heat source you may wish to receive these notifications to allow you to turn up the heat for an hour or so prior to your baseboard or geothermal system being shut off.