OPPD's plan to strategically manage participants’ air conditioners, is designed to reduce demand for electricity at peak times.
The program helps delay the need for a new power plant and the cost of building it, which in turn helps keeps rates low.
The AC Management Program, which launched in 2012, is helping OPPD meet its goal of reducing peak demand by 50 megawatts (MW) by year’s end.
In fact, this program alone contributed 17.2 MW toward that goal, 2.2 MW more than expected.
More than 11,500 customers have signed up to take part in the program, well above the initial goal of 10,000. OPPD is, again, setting a goal of 10,000 for 2013.
How it works:
• Customers sign up for the program and receive $30 after the AC Management device has been installed and an additional $20 for each year of participation.
• An OPPD electrical contractor installs a free outdoor device to the customer’s home on the siding or the brick nearest to the AC or heat pump. This requires the use of hardware, such as screws (see diagram to the right). No appointments are necessary, and installers do not go inside customers’ homes.
• On most days, nothing will happen. On summer days when demand for electricity is at its highest, the device runs the AC or heat pump in approximately 15-minute intervals (on for 15, off for 15), for 2.5 hours between 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. AC Management will not cause increased wear-and-tear to the cooling system.
• An AC management event will occur a maximum of 12 days per year. However, depending on summer weather patterns, the device may never be activated. AC Management will never occur on weekends or holidays, and participants can opt-out of the program two days per year with 24-hours’ notice.
• During a management event, the cooling system’s blower fan will continue to circulate the previously cooled air throughout the home. A typical home may experience a 1-to 3-degree increase in temperature during a management event.