Load Management // November 2022 CEO Column

Daniel Carlisle // President/CEO & General Counsel

We’ve been fortunate to have such great fall weather this year, but the frigid temperatures of winter will be here before we know it. Our heating systems will soon be pushed to the max, but we are doing our best to make sure your budget is not.

Todd-Wadena Electric Cooperative (TWEC) understands the expense of keeping our northern Minnesota homes warm in the winter. We, along with our power supplier Great River Energy (GRE), take pride in keeping costs as low as we can through our load management programs. Opting into one of our programs, such as TWEC’s dual fuel program, can help you save energy, and money, while considering your heating needs.

Todd-Wadena utilizes a variety of tools to help keep costs low. One of these tools is GRE’s balanced portfolio. The GRE portfolio includes natural gas, renewables, hydro-electric, the Rainbow purchase from Coal Creek, and market purchases. It is through this balanced portfolio that GRE is able to keep wholesale costs low.

Each and every day, GRE looks a day ahead at market conditions and decides if load control will be necessary or beneficial for capacity or pricing needs. This helps keep our costs low and, in turn, our members’ rates low. These low prices benefit thousands of our members, not only those with dual fuel but also irrigation, commercial and industrial, and water heating. For many of us, this rate (which is almost half of TWEC’s general service rate) can make or break our winter budget. We know this pricing is very important to you and it is extremely important to us.

Each control, regardless of the program, achieves a significant cost savings. To keep our rates low, we may need to squeeze all the value we can out of our load control programs. Coming into the 2022/2023 winter season, our members should expect increased load control. This could be consecutive days of water heater control. It may even include up to 12-hour dual fuel control events that could be consecutive or split between mornings and evenings.

Each of our load control programs have parameters in place that limit the hours of control possible each year. While we don’t expect that we will reach these limits, it is a reality that increased load control could happen this year. This is why checking your back-up system and updating TWEC if something changes is more important than ever.

We know increased load control can be frustrating, but if we all work together we can keep load management programs valuable and our pricing low.

Daniel Carlisle
President/CEO & General Counsel