Town of Smithfield load management customers will soon be getting a visit from a contractor hired by the town to perform upgrades. Smithfield currently has 655 residential customers signed up for the load management program. Public Utilities Director Ted Credle explained the new load management upgrade to the Smithfield Town Council August 3rdf.
Mr. Credle said the program offers discounts to customers that participate by allowing a control box to temporarily shut off operations on water heaters and/or HVAC units during the peak hours of the month. Customers receive a $6 per month discount for the water heater credit and $10 per month for HVAC units for the months of May through August. This totals $112 per customer of savings annually.
The current system is a one-way switch that receives a signal from the Town and initiates the shutdown. Credle said the drawback is the Town does not know if the switch is working and if the Town is receiving the benefit of the reduced electrical load.
Due to normal maintenance, Mr. Credle said private service technicians servicing the HVAC or water heaters will sometimes disconnect the control box and not reconnect it when the service work is completed. An upgraded two-way switch will allow the Town to know whether the HVAC and water heaters are connected to the load management system.
This month, the Town awarded a $37,500 bid to Honeywell to upgrade the one-way switch to a two-way switch at the homes.
The contractor will coordinate with each homeowner to schedule a time for a home visit. It will take about 90 days to complete the work at all 655 homes..
Town Manager Mike Scott said those interested in signing up for the load management program can contact Town of Smithfield customer service representatives at 919-934-2116, extension 1105. They will be able to prepare the necessary changes for billing purposes, as well as schedule a work order to make the installations.