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.
March 3, 2010, 8am PST | Tim Halbur
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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."

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Published on Tuesday, March 2, 2010 in The New York Times
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