Load Management Information

NOTE: This program is under review. Columbia Water & Light has temporarily suspended installing new Load Management switches. If you already have a Load Management switch and are experiencing issues with it, please contact us at info@columbiapowerpartners.com or by calling 573-874-7325.

What is load management?

Load Management reduces peak electric demand during the hottest afternoons of the summer when air conditioning load is the greatest and the cost of electricity is at its highest.

Why load management?

It saves money…for both you and the community! Load Management reduces our peak electric demand. Peak electric demand requires Columbia Water and Light to purchase additional power from the wholesale market, which is very expensive during summer months. Since we are a municipal utility, when we save money, you save money.

Who is eligible?

The program is free of charge and available to anyone who operates a central air conditioner with five tons of cooling capacity or less. Small businesses, home owners and mobile home owners are all eligible. Rental properties can also participate with permission from the property owner.

Why should I participate?

Load Management customers directly benefit for their participation by receiving a 2% discount on their total electric bill during the summer months of June through September. Your participation will help the entire community by keeping rates for everyone as low as possible. Load Management customers are good neighbors!

How does it work?

Columbia’s Load Management program uses a proven technology of radio-controlled switches installed on central air conditioners and heat pumps. During periods of peak electric usage, the switches are activated by a radio signal. This turns the compressor motor off for 7.5 minutes each half-hour. Since each switch controls only the compressor, the circulating fan can continue to operate, keeping your home cool and comfortable.

The effect of this cycling during peak demand is illustrated by four neighbors who have central air conditioners. On a rotating basis, the air conditioner compressors for each home are turned off for a few minutes. Instead of the four homes demanding electricity for their air conditioners at the same time, only three would be. Community wide, this means a considerable reduction in peak load and significant savings for you.

When are peak periods?

Summer time is when Columbia Water and Light experiences its peak load. Each year, the peak gets larger due to the growth of Columbia and increased use of air conditioning. Ordinarily, load management cycling is done only a few afternoons a year. Weather patterns and equipment problems at the power plant factor into how many times the switches are used for load control throughout the year. Typically, cycling will start in the mid-afternoon and stop at 7:30 p.m. during these days.

Will I notice any difference in temperature?

The only difference you should notice is a discount on your bill! Normally, air conditioners do not run continuously. Even during the hottest temperatures, they will ‘cycle’ off and on. The load management switch simply schedules when this happens. If you decide to end your participation in the program, the switch will be promptly removed. There are no fees or ‘strings’ attached to your participation.

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