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Demand Controller program

Take control of your energy use and save

How it works

The Demand Controller program puts you in control of your home energy use, giving you opportunities to save 20 percent or more on your monthly electric bill. 

The Demand Controller helps you establish an energy “budget” by placing time and use limits on your major electric appliances such as your clothes dryer, dishwasher, water heater, oven and hot tub, for example. You choose which appliances to control based on your household’s needs. When your home energy demand exceeds your energy budget, your Demand Controller will begin shutting off power to your appliances on a prioritized basis so you don’t exceed your preset energy demand limit.  When your demand begins decreasing, the controller will begin restoring power to your appliances in the order you choose.

Energy demand

Energy demand is the rate at which you use electricity during a 15-minute period. As you turn on more lights, appliances and electric heating equipment, you are increasing your individual demand — or your rate of use. Most households use the most electricity from 4 p.m.to 8 p.m. This high residential demand, multiplied by all the homes in the area, is what puts the squeeze on our generators. If enough customers were to cut back on their maximum demand, it can limit the amount we have to spend to meet an area’s power requirements. The savings then can be passed on to customers who reduce the maximum rate at which they used electricity.

Save money

Monitoring and controlling your home appliances can help you save money on your monthly energy bill because it costs more to produce electricity when system-wide demand is high and less during off-peak times, when system-wide demand is low. With the Demand Controller, you help us manage peak electricity demand by keeping your home’s peak energy demand predictable and low. In exchange, you pay a reduced electricity rate.*

*Your monthly Black Hills Energy bill includes a customer charge, a charge for measured demand, and a charge for how much energy you used during the billing period.

Control your energy use

With the Demand Controller, you decide which electric appliances to control based on your household’s energy needs. Instead of all appliances running at the same time (causing a large peak in energy use), the Demand Controller controls individual appliances, making them take turns. Controlled loads are those which can be deferred for a short time, with little or no discomfort, inconvenience, or interruption of a process.

The Demand Controller can help you save even more when you manage your appliances according to on- and off-peak time periods. The Demand Controller will automatically limit your use of major appliances during the on-peak periods. You will only be billed for the kilowatt demand recorded during the on-peak periods and energy consumed. There is no limit or charge for the off-peak kilowatt demand.

The off-peak and on-peak time periods are as follows:

Summer season — weekdays — April 1-October 31

    On-peak time: 10 a.m.-10 p.m.
    Off-peak time: 10 p.m.-10 a.m.

Winter season —weekdays — November 1-March 31

    On-peak time: 7 a.m.-11 p.m.
    Off-peak time: 11 p.m.-7 a.m.

Weekends: All weekends are considered off-peak time periods. The off-peak weekend time frame is:

    Summer: 10 p.m. Friday to 10 a.m. Monday
    Winter: 11 p.m. Friday to 7 a.m. Monday

The following holidays are considered off-peak: New Year's Day, Labor Day, President's Day, Veteran's Day, Memorial Day, Thanksgiving Day, Independence Day, and Christmas Day. A holiday is considered off-peak only on the day it occurs. The hours may be shifted according to the recognized Daylight Savings Time in the local area and customers will be given prior notice of such change.

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