Dual Fuel: Why and when it is controlled
In the ongoing struggle to keep electricity prices affordable, there are small things that can make a big difference on consumers’ bills. For instance, interruptible electric heating as a part of the Energy Wise® dual fuel program allows Great River Energy, Wright-Hennepin Cooperative Electric Association’s (WH) wholesale electric provider, to avoid purchasing power at peak times during the winter months when demand – and electricity prices – can be high.
This ability helps Great River Energy manage its rate to member co-ops like WH and, in turn, allows co-ops to charge their members less for power. Although, the Energy Wise dual fuel rate has gone up in price, it’s still a good value compared to other heating options.
The dual fuel program allows Great River Energy to control up to 12 hours per day and up to 400 hours over the course of the winter heating season; however, the company aims to limit its control to just 150 – 200 hours.
It’s not freezing.
Why are you controlling?
Great River Energy sells and purchases energy from a large wholesale energy market that serves much of the Midwest and parts of Canada. Temperature swings and power plant outages that can drive up energy prices and cause heat to be controlled could be hundreds of miles from WH’s service area.
How do I know when you’ll control?
The dual fuel program is used to reduce wholesale market energy purchases during the most expensive hours. There isn’t a predefined market price or temperature that will indicate when the program will be controlled. Several factors, ranging from historical electricity use and time of day to weather patterns, influence the decision to control. You can, however, get an idea of the likelihood of an interruption by visiting GreatRiverEnergy.com and selecting “Load Management Guide” at the lower left hand side of the screen. The dual fuel program control expectations can be found under “Residential.” You can also check out WH's off-peak load management page, and sign up for off-peak notifications.