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Load management program can cut energy costs
Sawnee EMC targets peak summer hours
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Forsyth County News

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Any Sawnee EMC customers interested in signing up for the free load management program should contact the Sawnee Customer Call Center at (770) 887-2363 or e-mail customerservice@sawnee.com.

Sawnee EMC is offering a program to help customers save money this summer.

Through the cooperative’s load management program, Sawnee customers volunteer to have a device installed on their air-conditioning units, said Blake House, vice president of member services.

The device switches turn units off for short periods of time on the hottest summer days, when energy demand and prices are typically the highest.

“Currently, we have over 30,000 members participating in the program and we’d love to have more,” House said.

Participating members receive a credit of $36 per year for each installed load management switch, he said.

For example, if a member has two air-conditioning units, they can receive a total credit of $72 per year, paid in three installments on their June, July and August billing statements.

House said customers don’t even have to be home for Sawnee employees to install the devices.

“Once they say they want to participate, we come out and install the switch … outside,” he said. “They don’t have to do anything.”

Last summer, House said, the devices were used on about 20 days, with air-conditioning units being shut down for about eight minutes on those afternoons.

Participating members shouldn’t be able to tell a difference in their home’s temperatures.

The program runs from June through September, but not on weekends, July 4 or Labor Day.

House said while customers benefit from reduced bills in the hottest months of the year, Sawnee EMC representatives also benefit.

“During those peak hours of usage, that’s when power is the most expensive on the wholesale end,” he said. “So if you reduce demand during that summer peak, we reduce our costs and that’s passed on to our customers.

“It helps us and it helps the customer. It’s a win-win for everyone.”