The Real-World Benefits of Advanced Load Shifting


Though much of the electric-power industry has begun paying close attention to the importance of load shifting and demand response in recent years, Central Electric Power Cooperative, Inc. (CEPCI), has been focused on their benefits for decades. Based in Columbia, South Carolina, CEPCI is a nonprofit provider of wholesale electric service to the state’s 20 electric cooperatives and their 800,000 customers, often referred to as members. CEPCI’s use of sophisticated demand management technology allows it to call load optimization events responsive to time-of-use pricing on a regular basis.

Not only does CEPCI serve the state’s electric co-ops by securing low-cost electricity via long-term power purchase agreements and more than 800 miles of transmission lines, but it also continuously tests new technologies that can benefit co-ops and their members. “We are looking for ways to reduce the coincident peak and the big costs related to that every month. That’s how our co-ops derive value from load management,” said Scott Hammond, CEPCI’s member programs manager. “We’ve had water-heater programs since the 1980s, and we’ve probably got about 60,000 or 70,000 water-heater switches we do control with as well as smart thermostats and some older AC switches that we use.”

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