The Peak Load Management Alliance (PLMA) recently awarded Dakota Electric Association the Outstanding Program Participation Award. According to PLMA, this award recognizes Dakota Electric’s “success and ability to achieve a significant amount of customer participation and load reduction.”

Dakota Electric has achieved a very high involvement rate in the voluntary load management programs (also called off-peak) with more than 47,000 members participating.

“Our load management program is one of the greatest partnerships that we have with our member-owners in recent history,” Vice President of Energy and Member Services Mike Fosse said. “Together with our members, we have had the effect of avoiding the need to build a small power plant. Load management has helped us reduce our power costs significantly and allowed our members to save money on their electric bills.”

Load management is the practice of reducing electricity demand on a utility’s system by controlling the operation of specific appliances during times of high electricity use, often during the hot days of summer. Load management programs reduce a utility’s overall demand, saving its customers and the utility money.  

Dakota Electric’s load management program, in place since 1983, has saved the not-for-profit electric cooperative and its member-owners millions of dollars in power costs annually. In 2012, the cooperative reduced its power bill by more than $18 million.

Dakota Electric’s members can participate in a variety of load management programs, including air conditioning, water heating, space heating and others.

Great River Energy, Dakota Electric’s wholesale power supplier, accepted the award at the Austin, Texas, conference on behalf of Dakota Electric.