Why WH cycles air conditioners during the summer

Learn why WH cycles air conditioners during the summer months.

Posted by Guest Blogger on March 25, 2014

You may be wondering, “Why does Wright-Hennepin (WH) cycle air conditioners during the summer?” To begin, WH has wholesale power purchase agreements with Great River Energy (GRE), Maple Grove, MN and Basin Electric (Basin), Bismarck, ND. Because of WH’s geographical location, we are a “summer peaking utility.” By that I mean that we typically have a higher energy demand period in the summer compared to the winter months. High demand periods during the summer months are generally caused by central air conditioning for residential, commercial and retail business. A good way to think of it is like a car during rush hour. During the evening hours, a rush or peak time period of energy is consumed by members who are returning home for the day.

This is why WH and other utility providers control loads during peak energy demands. By cycling air conditioners, we reduce the amount of peak energy that is purchased which reduces the amount of dollars spent for energy. WH members then receive an off-peak rate for allowing WH to control their system during the hottest days of summer. Both WH and the member end up saving energy and costs this way.

As you may already know, WH controls air conditioning up to six hours per day and up to 200 hours per cooling season. Air conditioners will be cycled 15 minutes out of every 30 minutes during the control period. If you are interested in load control information, you can visit our off-peak money saving program page or call a representative (763) 477-3000.

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