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Members of Dakota Electric Association who are on the dual fuel load management program are encouraged to make sure they have adequate supplies of their secondary fuel source this winter. Dakota Electric’s power supplier, Great River Energy, has notified its member cooperatives that it expects to increase control hours this winter due to high prices in the natural gas and electricity markets.

According to Great River Energy, they also expect additional pricing pressure in the wholesale power markets during the heating season due to natural gas supply competition for household heating.

Great River Energy will manage costs by using the dual fuel program to reduce load during peak pricing hours, which may include both morning and evening peak load periods. The primary heating system can be controlled up to 12 hours per day and up to 400 hours per heating season. Control occurs on days of high electrical demand, high wholesale energy prices and/or system emergencies.

Load management can be a significant help in reducing demand on the grid and reducing power costs every year. Dakota Electric has more than 40,000 members on some form of load management, which saves the not-for-profit cooperative around $17-18 million each year.

“Since we are a not-for-profit electric cooperative, these savings are passed on to our members,” Jon Beyer, Dakota Electric’s energy and members services vice president, said.

Members, who voluntarily sign up for load management programs, such as dual fuel, receive a significant reduction in their electric rate for participating. Load management programs allow utilities to cycle the electric load off as needed to reduce costs during peak demand times.

For more on this winter’s load control projections and how members can be prepared for it, visit our power supply updates page on

A customer-owned, non-profit utility since 1937, Dakota Electric Association provides electricity to more than 110,000 members throughout Dakota County and portions of Goodhue, Rice and Scott counties. Dakota Electric, a Touchstone Energy cooperative, serves its member-owners with integrity, accountability, innovation and commitment to community.