Urban Fold

Paying People Not to Use Energy

It's an idea being used in Idaho and other areas with heavy energy use at peak times like midday air conditioning: energy companies are paying people to power down during max loads.

Kate Galbraith writes, "Water heaters can also be set up to reduce strain on the power system. Dan Tepfer, who works on 'demand response' issues for the Kandiyohi Power Cooperative, a small utility in central Minnesota, said that customers are paid $12.50 a month to take part in a program that allows the water heaters to use electricity only at night - between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. During those hours, the utility has plenty of spare electric capacity - unlike the daytime, when people run their computers and dishwashers and other gadgets."

Full Story: Managing Peak Demand With Water Heaters

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