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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. For SRP customers
on the solar rate, the demand is calucated in 30 minute intervals. You are charged for the highest electrical demand reached during the month.
Demand is measured in time and in amount. The typical measurement used 1000 watts or 1 kilowatt (kW) averaged per a given time period.
Time periods for measuring demand range from 15 minutes (tyipally used for commercial rates) andr 30 minutes (Salt River Project) or 60 minutes
(Arizona Public Service Company).
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?
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.
I have a load controller that's programmed for the old Noon-7pm rate. Can it be modified to work with the new 3pm-8pm APS rate?
Many load controllers can be reprogrammed for new demand rates. However, since the majority of them have been installed 25+ years ago, the
battery inside used for memory backup most likely has given up.
What we have noticed is that once the old unit has been reprogrammed to the new times and there is a power outage the memory is lost and you have
to pay again to have it reprogrammed.
1) Learn how to reprogram the unit
2) Have a timer installed that only allows the load controller to run between 3pm and 8pm Mon-Friday.
More information click here.
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. Our "Demand Reduction Package" not only negates the need for a load controller, it halves the level of demand possible with
a load controller.
Call for a free in home analysis at 602 867 3176
This is what the display page looks like on our cloud based energy monitoring system. Thousands less than a load controller.
This display can be viewed on your smart phone, tablet or computer.
"After installing our Eyedro EHEM1, we quickly identified the
AC as our energy hog! By making minor changes to our
thermostat profile and habits we were able to reduce
consumption and shift much of our cooling to off-peak hours
– saving us money with negligible impact on comfort"
"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 $1400 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."
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