Load Management FAQs

Q: What is Load Management?

A: Load Management is the process of reducing electric load from our system during periods of peak demand. Managing the peak is an excellent way to conserve natural resources and to help to control rising electric costs in the long run. We reduce the load by remotely turning off your large appliances (hot water heaters, heat pumps, heat strips, and swimming pool pumps) for certain amounts of time with load management switches. Typically, this happens on hot summer afternoons and cold winter mornings.

Q: Will I be inconvenienced?

A: No. Turning off the appliances should not affect your comfort level. Water heaters are designed to keep water hot for several hours after the power is turned off.

For heat pumps in heating mode, we will turn off only the auxiliary heat strips. The heat pump compressor will not be affected; it is the most efficient means of the unit and will continue to heat your home during load management periods.

Heat pumps in cooling mode and central air conditioners are controlled in 25% cycles unlike the 100% water heater and heat strip programs, and, therefore, provide 22 ½ minutes of cooling every half hour. Also, only the compressor is turned off, which allows you to use the unit’s fan to circulate previously cooled air during the 7½ minutes when your compressor is not running.

Q: Do you control the appliances every day?

A: No. Load Management takes place only a few days a month, and on the days when it does take place, we usually control your appliances for only a few hours.

The aim of load management is to reduce usage during the one hour of the month when our wholesale electric system is reaching its peak for the month. Generally, peaks occur between

7 and 9 a.m. on winter weekdays, and between 1 and 6 p.m. on weekdays in the summer. Because the peak changes each month, we have to allow some “misses” when aiming for it.

Past history shows load management for an average of three to five days per month and two hours for each of those days.

Q: How much will it cost me to join?

A: Nothing. The City’s electric department pays for installing, moving, checking, and removing switches. All work is done by qualified City employees or licensed electrical contractors. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Q: What do I have to do after the switches are installed?

A: Nothing. The switches are radio-controlled by the City personnel and require no maintenance by the customer. In fact, IT IS ILLEGAL FOR A CUSTOMER TO ATTEMPT ANY MAINTENANCE OR TO REMOVE A SWITCH, considered under the City’s tampering policy to be the same as an electric meter. Under North Carolina General Statutes 14-151-1, It is unlawful for any unauthorized person to alter, bypass, interfere with, or cut off any load management device, or system which has been installed by the electric supplier for the purpose of limiting the use of electricity at peak-load periods, provided, however, if there has been a written request to remove the load management equipment, or system to the electric supplier and the electric supplier has not removed the device within two working days, there shall be no violation of this section.” If you ever change your mind, you need only call the City of New Bern Electric Department to have someone remove the switch.

Q: How do I sign up?

A: Simply call New Bern Electric Utilities at 636-4070 and say you want to sign up for the load management programs that interests you.

Q: Don’t I receive some sort of credit for participating?

A: Yes. Credits are issued to participating customers’ electric accounts for the privilege of interrupting power to the controlled appliances for short periods which occur each month. Credits are issued during the following specified months, although appliances may also be controlled for short periods of time in other months, if necessary, to reduce peak demand. Credits for hot water heaters are issued monthly. Credits for central air conditioners are issued in June, July, August, and September. Credits for swimming pool pumps are issued in June, July, August, and September. Credits for heat pumps and electric furnaces will be issued in December, January, February, and March. The credits for these appliances are as follows:

Water Heaters- (per unit) $5.00/mo.

Central Air Conditioners- (per unit) $5.00/mo. (June through Sept.)

Swimming Pool Pumps- (per unit) $4.00/mo. (June through Sept.)

Heat Pumps/Electric Furnaces- ( per home) $10.00/mo. (January & February)

$5.00/mo. (December & March)

Q: How does the rebate program work?

A: A $400 rebate credit is offered for central heat pumps (minimum12 SEER rating and at least one ton) for replacement units. A $150 rebate credit is offered for high efficiency water heaters (minimum 0.91 energy factor and at least 30 gallons) for replacement units. Load management switches must be installed on these appliances. Customers must request a rebate credit for installing the energy efficient heat pumps and water heaters. After inspection and rebate form is approval by electric utilities, the rebate credit will be applied to the customer’s electric account or a rebate check is issued to a landlord. If necessary, the load management switches can be removed from these appliances. If the customer requests the switches be removed within two years of the date that the rebate credit is issued, the full amount of the rebate credit will be charged back to the customer’s electric account. A request for a switch removal after two years but within four years will result in one-half of the rebate credit being charged back to the customer’s electric account. After four years, if a switch is removed, none of the rebate credit is charged back to the customer’s electric account.

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City of New Bern
PO Box 1129
New Bern, NC 28563-1129
Electric Dept. Main # (252) 636-4070
Citywide Phone Directory