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Frequently Asked Questions
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Frequently Asked Questions:
What is Demand?
Demand is the highest usage of electrical power during a given period. For APS residential users, this time period is one hour. You are charged for the highest demand reached during any sixty minute period. Demand is measured in time and in amount. The typical measurement used 1000 watts or 1KW averaged per a given time period. Either 30 minutes (Salt River Project) or 60 minutes (Arizona Public Service Company).
The current charge is $13.85 per KW. Simple math dictates a demand of 10KW would equate to $138.50 for one hour usage of power.
Salt River Project solar customers can pay as much as $33/kW once a demand level of 10kW is reached. This means a $330 demand charge on top of how much power was consumed will be charged on your monthly bill.
Examples of KW loads in a residence:
Since the meter measures an average of power usage, adding the kW values above would not be how the meter reads your usage. Example: Let's say a 5 ton heat pump consuming 8KW runs 10 minutes on, 10 minutes off. The average demand that the meter (and the load controller), "sees and reads" is a 4KW load. A water heater uses 4.5KW but can run for a full 60 minutes (the APS demand time window), after a load of clothes using hot water and therefore would contribute 4.5kW to the months bill. The Inergy Smart Panel System has built-in timers and one can be set to keep the water heater from running during on peak hours.
What is a load controller?
- Electric Clothes Dryer: 6kW
- Electric Water Heater: 4.5kW
- 3 Ton Heat Pump: 5.6kW (1.6 KW/ton)
- 5 Ton Heat Pump: 8kW (15 year old heat pump: 11KW)
Range: 2.5kW per burner
- Oven: 5kW
- Pool pump (per pump) 2kW
Electric Spa Heater: 10-20kW
A load controller is an outdoor mounted computer that measures your power usage and controls peak demand by load shedding. Loads (A/C, Dryer, Water Heater), are not allowed to run at the same time which causes high demand charges.
Load controllers work in conjunction with electrical rates that have a demand charge. Since the demand charge on most energy bills can be as much as the consumption, controlling demand significantly reduces your electric bill. Think of it as a cruise control for your power bill. You set it where you want it. The lower you set it, the more you save.
Are they difficult to interface with?
The older generation load controllers were very straightforward to work with. You simply opened the box outside, pressed a few buttons and could gather information like demand level set point, current usage, load shedding status etc.
The new cloud based versions are far from easy or intuitive but there is a service offered (for $99/year) to assist in changing your set points, thermostat settings, etc. We stopped installing these after numerous calls from end users who had issues interfacing with the system. It appears they are not yet ready for the market as there have been revisions made to the programming as recently as 3/15/17. You may want to wait until the bugs are worked out of the system before purchasing one.
Do I really need a load controller?
No, you don't. You can be your own load controller by making certain your big power users (water heater, clothes dryer, heat pump) are not running at the same time. However, if you miss one hour of the month, all of your hyper vigilance of keeping your demand peak levels down will be wasted and you will have a high demand charge.
Are there any other options?
Yes there are. Consider spending the $3000+ for a load controller on making your home more efficient. This inherently lowers the need for long heat pump run times and significantly reduces the demand level. We have developed a system that bypasses the need for a load controller and will result in a more comfortable home, significantly lower energy bills (both demand and consumption), utilizes a WIFI based information system so you can see your instantaneous usage on your smart phone, tablet or PC, and will alarm you with a text message or email should your demand rise above where you want it.
This Demand Reduction Package (DRP) is also perfectly suited for homes with solar PV systems. By shifting the loads to off peak times using our proprietary, patented technology means and methods, you can eliminate the complexities and headaches of using a load controller, live in a more comfortable home and double the life of your heat pump. Once our proven DRP has been installed you will require a much smaller solar system as the home is more efficient and much easier to.
Installing a load controller by itself cannot accomplish this. Beta testing on full size homes for the last four years on both single and two story homes have proven the concept. We are able to keep demand levels 50% to 65% lower without using a load controller. The suggested demand level by a local load controller manufacturer is 5kW to 7kW. Our beta homes are all under 4kW with no load controller, some as low as 2.2kW!
Below is an energy bill showing what our DRP can do for a 2,200sq foot home in Phoenix. Our Demand Reduction Program has been proven to work for years on desert homes.
The peak demand on this home previously was 8.2kW. Notice the reduction to 3.5kW without the use of a load controller.
This is a revolutionary new concept in demand limiting and only available at Automated Power Systems.
Benefits of using our Demand Reduction Package as opposed to utilizing a load controller:
- Significantly Lower Demand Levels
- Cloud Based System (which can be viewed on your smart phone)
- More comfortable home
- Improved indoor air quality
- No complicated equipment to learn how to use
- Nothing to adjust or change
- Maximizes the inexpensive off peak rates
- Lasts forever (lifetime performance warranty)
- Two story homes are the same temperature upstairs and downstairs
Current transformers are placed around the main buss bars in your electrical panel and measure power consumption. This information is read and recorded by the controller.
Every light bulb, appliance and outlet is measured.
What does a Load Controller look like?
Below is the Pensar System 1000 (outdoor display) This unit is mounted next to your existing electrical breaker box
Ok, I'm Interested, What's The Next Step?
Your first call is going to be to and schedule a site survey and we will come out to your home and show you how to save. There is a $40 charge for this evaluation.
"Two years ago you installed the load controller. On the averaging plan our monthly bill is now $154 and our highest single monthly bill has been $225 over the the past two years. A savings of $4200 in just two years. The load controller has been well worth the investment. I just wanted to thank you and let everyone know the savings are real."
JW Flint, Scottsdale, AZ
Call 602 789 1699 to schedule an on site analysis
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