McLeod Co-op Power offers load management programs, also called Off-Peak Programs, to reduce the demand for energy during peak times and to reduce energy purchase costs for both members and the Co-op.
Through a variety of heating, cooling, and water heating programs that shift energy consumption from expensive peak hours to less costly off-peak hours. Both members and the Co-op benefit by participation in programs like Dual Fuel, Storage Space Heating, Storage Water Heating, and Cycled Cooling. Newer programs like electric charging for electric vehicles during off-peak hours are also becoming more popular as more people choose the new EV technology when purchasing a car.
Dual Fuel can be any combination of electric heat with an automatic fossil fuel or storage heating back-up system.
Members participating in this program benefit by paying the low off-peak electric rate for all of their electric heat usages. In exchange, the Cooperative is able to control their electric heat during peak times (up to 400 hours per year maximum). During control times, the automatic back-up system will heat the home.
Forced air combinations could be an electric plenum heater with a gas or oil furnace.
Air source or ground source heat pumps are also a popular combination with any forced air furnace. An electric boiler or mini-boiler can be paired with a gas boiler backup for hot water heat. Electric radiant baseboards or cove heat could be backed up by under-floor storage heat. There are many other possible combinations of electric heat with the automatic backup systems.
The installation of the off-peak control equipment needs to be performed by a licensed electrician.
Members participating in the Storage Heating Program have electric heat that operates on a daily schedule of 8-hours on/16-hours off.
Central storage furnaces, room storage heaters and slab heating all take up to 8 hours of charge from 11 PM through 7 AM. During the next 16 hours, the unit does not recharge. Storage systems deliver heat to homes, shops, and commercial buildings 24 hours a day, even though they don’t use electricity during the day. By using electricity only during non-peak hours, all storage loads qualify for the low off-peak electric rates and for rebates.
Steffes central storage hydronic and forced air furnaces are available through a few qualified contractors in McLeod’s service area.
They are filled with ceramic bricks that store heat for use in peak hours. They are designed to work with air conditioning. Visit our Equipment Page on Storage Furnaces for photos and details.
Steffes room storage heaters are also filled with bricks. They are designed to heat one room or provide backup to Dual Fuel.
Underfloor heating mats, cables or panels located 8 inches below the cement slab in a 10-12 inch sand base and the perimeter of the slab is insulated. This is commonly used to heat commercial buildings, shops or residential basements.
One, or two water heaters totaling at least 100 gallons and controlled by MCPA radio receiver and meter socket. Cooperative will help you size storage system to your family’s daily hot water needs and provide wiring diagrams for an electrician. Families of 4 or more persons may require greater storage capacity.
Rebates available. Billed at a lower off-peak electric rate. Click here to find out more on our current rebates
Member pays for the water heater and installation of control equipment. Cooperative furnishes radio receiver, sub-meter socket, and mixing valve if needed.
Tanks heat from 11 PM – 7 AM only. A family uses the stored hot water all day. Water heaters re-heat as needed on most weekend days.
Member pays off-peak electric rates for all water heating
One 80-gallon or larger electric water heater controlled by MCPA Peak Shaver Control Box. (or a 50-gallon heater with an approved mixing valve would qualify as an 80-gallon system).
$5.00/per month credit (usage must exceed 600 KWH to receive credit) on electric bill for 8 hour control program.
Cooperative furnishes control equipment, home-owner pays the electrician for installing controls.
The water heater is controlled during peak demand hours. Historically this has been on the hottest summer and coldest winter days between 3-11 PM.
By participating in the Cooperative’s Cycled Air Conditioning Program you can save money on cooling your home.
If you allow the co-op to cycle your air conditioner or heat pump approximately 15 minutes on, then 15 minutes off, during peak hours on the hottest summer days, you can save 50% on metered cooling costs or receive a monthly credit of eight dollars.
Heat pumps are a year-round load and may be installed on an off-peak meter. Air conditioning may only be installed on the off-peak rate when combined with another controlled load such as electric heat or water heating. If you only control an air conditioner the Cooperative provides a $8.00 per month peak shaver credit.
Cycling your air conditioner reduces peak demand and helps us provide electricity during heaviest demand times.
Cycling is able to maintain a comfortable temperature within your home while it is saving you money on cooling.
Call the Cooperative for details on the Cycled Cooling Program.
Rebates are currently available for heat pumps.
Generator Back-up Program for Farm & Commercial Customers
Farm and commercial accounts with the average monthly demand of 50 kW or greater, may participate in the Peak Alert Program. Customers must be able to curtail their electric load upon peak control notification. Customers with automatic generators rely upon their generator to supply electric power during control times. Control usually occurs on the hottest summer days or coldest winter nights for 4-10 hours per interruption, however, it can occur anytime additional capacity is needed by our power supplier.
Load control receiver is supplied by the Cooperative. Customer’s electrician makes connections to the generator.
Farm and commercial customers interested in this program should contact the Energy Management Specialists at McLeod Cooperative Power for details on the rate and program requirements.
The basics of purchasing an electric vehicle
As electric vehicles (EVs) continues gaining popularity even among conventional car drivers, most everyone leasing or purchasing one is doing so for the first time. So, how do you know if an EV will suit your lifestyle? And what information do you need to know when heading to the dealership to find out which kind is best for you?
One of the biggest roadblocks for people to overcome when considering a transition from gasoline to all-electric is “range anxiety,” or the belief that the car’s charge won’t be able to get them to where they need to go for an entire day. But according to a 2013 study conducted by Consumer Reports and the Union of Concerned Scientists, 69 percent of U.S. drivers travel less than 60 miles on weekdays – well within the range of many EVs available today and newer models to be released in the next year or two.
There are two main types of EVs that use electric energy stored in batteries to power its motor: all-electric and plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV).
Examples of all-electric include the Nissan Leaf and all Tesla models, while PHEVs such as the Chevy Volt work like an all-electric EV for the first 50 miles then switch over to gasoline.
Instead of stopping at a gas station every time you need to fill up, the main fueling station could actually be in your own home and cost less than you’d pay at the pump. McLeod Co-op offers EV owners a less expensive, off-peak rate to help them take advantage of electricity during specific times of the day, generally overnight while you’re asleep, so it’s charged and ready to go when you leave in the morning.
EV owners can charge their vehicle’s battery at home by plugging it into a standard 120-volt outlet that requires no extra equipment or installation. On average, a full charge this way takes about eight hours, though it varies by models. Homeowners can also choose to have a Level 2 charger installed professionally in their home and would see the full charging time cut in half. These types of chargers are often found across the country for public charging as well.
Lastly, fast chargers can charge an EV about 50 percent in 20 minutes. There are more than 200 public charging stations across Minnesota. They are available mainly along transportation corridors and can be located with easy-to-use online tools such as plugshare.com.
There are dozens of EV models available for purchase in Minnesota.
While they vary in price range, consumers should keep the federal tax credit of up to $7,500 – depending on the size of the vehicle’s battery – in mind. A consumer could purchase a 2017 Chevy Volt, whose electric range is 53 miles, for $25,670 with the full federal tax credit applied, while the price of a Ford Focus Electric – an all-electric EV with a range of 76 miles – gets knocked down from $29,170 to $21,670 with it applied.
The savings don’t end at the dealership either.
EVs require much less upkeep than their gas-powered counterparts because the battery, motor, and associated electronics require little-to-no regular maintenance; there are fewer fluids to change; and there are fewer moving parts, relative to a conventional gas engine. The differences between EVs and conventional vehicles are many, but both kinds must meet the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and undergo the same rigorous safety testing.
Besides helping your own pocketbook, the impact that owning and driving an EV has on the environment is profound.
EVs produce zero tailpipe emissions and PHEVs produce no tailpipe emissions when in all-electric mode. By signing up for McLeod Co-op’s Revolt program, you can also ensure that each time your EV is charged up at home, it’s done so with 100 percent renewable energy at no additional cost for the vehicle’s lifetime.
While you may be considering an EV purchase for the first time along with many other consumers, as with any vehicle shopping you should assess your driving requirements and price range, then compare those requirements with the available models.
To learn more about EVs:
Visit the U.S. Department of Energy’s Plug-In Electric Vehicle Handbook for Consumers (pdf). For more information on how to enroll in Revolt, visit mnrevolt.com.