Alexandria Light and Power's rates are low and you can help to keep them that way! By volunteering, you can help to reduce the peak load and the resulting demand charges by allowing ALP to turn your central air conditioner and electric water heater "off and on" (cycle) during peak periods. Also, there is NO COST TO YOU.
Over 1,200 air conditioners and over 1,100 water heaters are currently under load control. By allowing us to control these appliances, those volunteers have helped save ALP over $1,500,000 in energy costs over the last several years that helps to keep your rates lower.
We all have an obligation to use our energy resources more wisely than we have in the past! Cycling air conditioners and water heaters on peak days reduces the need to burn coal to produce electricity and will preserve natural resources for our future generations. That's good for the environment!
If you would like to know more information about load management or to volunteer you may call our office or sign up now.
Thank you for helping to keep our rates lower!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is load management?
Load management is a program that Alexandria Light and Power put in place to help reduce what ALP pays for electricity. This is done by turning water heaters and central air conditioning units "off" for short periods in order to reduce the peak rate of use. Load management strategies are designed to either reduce or shift demand from on-peak to off-peak times.
How would load management save money?
Over half of the wholesale power bill paid by ALP to our suppliers Western Area Power Administration and Missouri River Energy Services, is a "demand" charge determined by the peak of electrical use, or load, each month; the rest of the bill is the charge for actual energy purchased. Load management saves money by moving some load away from any period that is likely to establish the monthly peak load.
Why cycle air conditioners?
ALP is a summer peaking utility. Air conditioners greatly contribute to that peak load. By cycling air conditioners "off and on" for short spells during peak demand periods is usually not noticed by the participant—but effects substantial savings by lowering peak load.
How long will my air conditioner be off?
Never more than 10 minutes at a time! If your air conditioner is running when a peak load is predicted, the compressor (which is the cooling element) of your conditioner may be one of those to be cycled "off" for up to 10 minutes. It will then go back "on" for at least 20 minutes, and will not go "off again until every other participating air conditioner in town has also been "off" for 10 minutes. During this time the fan will continue to run so that air will continue to circulate throughout the house. During a typical summer, your air conditioner will by cycled about a dozen days. You should never notice the difference.
Will the load management switch damage my air conditioner?
Absolutely not! The load management switch only interrupts the electrical current to your equipment and will not damage it.
Why cycle electric water heaters?
Two reasons. No inconvenience and maximum savings.
- Because a large amount of hot water is maintained in storage, reheating the water need not occur at any specific time. Short periods without reheating cause no inconvenience.
- Cycling electric water heaters provides maximum savings because they are high demand appliances and are commonly used in homes.
Will I be without hot water?
With a properly sized water heater, postponing the reheat cycle should never be noticed. Most heaters can provide hot water for at least four hours after power has been turned "off". Load management periods are shorter than this and would occur only a few times each month.
If you are a volunteer and you know that you will be using an unusually large volume of hot water, for example, you are going to have a house full of company, you may call our office and we will take your water heater off the cycle program for that period of time. We do not want this program to inconvenience you in any way.
What does the switch look like?
The load management switch is a small box approximately 9"x 7".
Where is the switch located?
The load management switch is placed outside near the air conditioner or inside the house by the breaker panel.