“What does the gray box do?” Radio-controlled switches help reduce energy use during times of peak demand When energy use on the grid is at its highest, Mid-Ohio Energy uses load management programs to help reduce our distribution system’s load. By reducing our system’s energy footprint during peak times, we can avoid costs associated with high grid demand and/or securing additional power generation. The result is lower costs for all of our members!
Each switch has a set of LED lights to indicate whether or not load control is in effect. A green light means normal operation, while a green and red light together indicate power is being deferred due to a peak period. For more information on load management and peak alert status updates, give us a call or visit MidOhioEnergy.com/peak.
A key aspect of managing energy during peak times is the use of a load management switch, also called a radiocontrolled switch or RCS. The RCS is installed on water heaters, geothermal units, and heat pumps (typically in exchange for an energy credit rebate) to reduce the overall demand for electricity during peak times. These times, know as “peak alerts,” usually occur during regional weather extremes, typically in the warmest summer afternoons between 1 and 6 p.m. Control periods are enacted in less than 1% of all the hours in a year. As a member, you may currently have one or more load management switches (pictured at right) in your home.
Wondering if a peak alert control period is active? Refer to the switch’s indicator lights or visit www.MidOhioEnergy.com. Peak alert notifications are also posted on the co-op’s social media feeds.
Engaging lawmakers to advocate for rural members and cooperatives Educating legislators and maintaining relationships with our representatives is critical to our mission of keeping electricity affordable and reliable for our rural members. Two recent examples highlight these ongoing efforts.
Freshmen lawmakers tour A bipartisan group of eight freshmen state representatives visited Mid-Ohio Energy Cooperative headquarters in Kenton as part of a tour of rural Ohio. The group made several stops during their trip, with a goal of connecting their work in Columbus to Ohio’s local communities. At Mid-Ohio Energy, legislators toured the co-op’s office and learned what goes on behind the scenes to provide power to the community.
2019 NRECA Legislative Conference Additionally, a group of representatives from Ohio’s electric cooperatives, including local leaders from Mid-Ohio Energy, visited Washington, D.C., for the annual National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s (NRECA) Legislative Conference.
Cooperative personnel met with Ohio’s Sen. Sherrod Brown and Sen. Rob Portman and visited with U.S. House representatives to talk about important policy issues, including factoring rural America into any legislation about infrastructure and protecting the tax exempt status of electric co-ops regardless of federal grants received, such as FEMA or broadband grants. A group of freshmen lawmakers visited the co-op’s Kenton headquarters to see how the co-op works to provide power. Leaders from Ohio electric cooperatives traveled to Washington, D.C., to meet with representatives, including Congressman Bob Latta.
JULY 2019 • OHIO COOPERATIVE LIVING 21