H20 - Load Management Program

In the summer of 2007 during a week of triple degree temperatures and again during the cold winter days of January 2008, your cooperative reached a peak in the amount of energy our members consumed. Members interested in conserving electricity and helping the cooperative manage our system’s energy usage now have the ability to participate in a unique program – H20 Plus. H20+ is a load management program designed to help SAEC make sure our system will meet your electric needs even when demand on the system is high. That’s the time when your friends and neighbors are relying on that electricity for heating and cooling during extreme temperatures.

At the heart of the program is a device that is installed on your water heater which will allow our power supplier (Power-South – formerly Alabama Electric Cooperative) to cycle your water heater off for short periods of time during times of peak energy use. A certified electrician will install the devices at not cost to you. Although you won’t see a difference in the amount of hot water you have at home, this program will make a huge difference in the amount of power consumed system-wide.

Pete Vroom, an instructor at Troy University, had the first H20+ devices installed on SAEC’s system. “I’m a teacher and I talk to my students about energy conservation,” he said. “So when this program came out I said it was one more way I could practice what I preach.” Vroom has also added many energy efficient building practices to his home as well.

“I’ve made other changes to my home that has helped me see a large reduction in my monthly power bill,” he said. “I change my filters and replaced my windows with LoE glass. I’ve made improvements to my roof and am replacing bulbs with the compact fluorescent.”

Vroom was impressed with the ease of participating in the program. “They came out when I scheduled the installation and it took about 30 minutes from start to finish. I wish more people would participate.” You may wonder how this program can make such a big difference to the cooperative. Our power supplier must generate power for average days as well as days where we have
those peak use times. That period typically only lasts a couple of hours at the time. But we have to generate electricity like you and your neighbors might need that amount at any given time. The H20+ program allows us to manage that usage and account for the electricity we can control.

“It really helps the electric cooperative to manage the peaks and valleys in our energy use,” Vroom said. “If we can help them level that out, we can reduce the amount of generation facilities that will be needed to meet our energy needs, and it will help to maintain our costs as consumers. I’m not worried about running out of hot water. I’ve had the system in for three months now and
haven’t had any problems.”

If you are interested in learning more about this program, please contact the member services department at South Alabama Electric Cooperative at 1-800-556-2060.