Georgia Power Power Credit

I signed up for the Georgia Power Power Credit program. The idea is that if everyone has their air conditioners running at the same time during the summer they will have to provide an enormous amount of electricity all at once. And that peak demand may only happen a few times a year. By making sure that not everyone has their air running at the same time, the peak will be much lower meaning they don’t have to have as much equipment or power plants to supply that peak.

This is one of those things that just makes a lot of sense to me. They probably already have something similar in effect with some of their biggest customers (office buildings probably cycle through different floors so not all floors are getting AC at the same time) but feel a need to expand it to residential service as well.

It keeps your AC from running as much in the summer from 12 PM to 7 PM but only on peak days and during peak hours (and not on weekends or holidays). I don’t even usually get home until 6:30 so I feel like this is an easy way for me to participate. The brochure says it shouldn’t raise the temperature more than “a few degrees” but there’s a big difference between 78 degrees and 81. It also says they expect to activate the switch only 10 times per year. Of course those will be the 10 hottest days of the year.

I get $20 for signing up and $2 for each time they activate the switch. It sounds like a great thing now in the dead of winter, but I’ll post again next summer and say how it worked out.

While this program seems good, their “green energy” program apparently is a ripoff. Under that program you volunteer to pay more money for electricity and Georgia Power promises to get that power from “renewable resources” but they are charging a lot of extra money and apparently just using sources they already use, namely a small powerplant that is running off of methane from a trash dump.

For more information on the power credit program go to www.georgiapower.com/powercredit.

2 thoughts on “Georgia Power Power Credit

  1. When we moved to Gwinnette, we started getting power from Walton EMC. They are a cooperative, and it feels like dealing with a credit union. We’ve always had a box on the outside of the house that can switch off our AC for brief periods of time during peek season. The off-time is measured in minutes, and we’ve never noticed it. The box is optional, but you are right, it makes sense.

    At Harland, our emergency generator which keeps our data center going turns on frequently during the summer, supplying power to Georgia Power (since we rarely actually need the emergency generator.) It is powered by huge propane tanks. In exchange for letting Georgia Power do this, they keep our propane tanks full and maintain the generator.

    I sat in the back corner of the building near the generator. It was really loud. But I was also on the same circuit as the data center, so I never lost power during thunderstoms.

  2. I should add that when it started getting hot that year my air conditioner wouldn’t come on. I called a repair company and they said that the Georgia Power switch was set up so that the air conditioner would never come on. That cost me $80 and the guy just disconnected the switch, but I went ahead and got them to do a service on the air conditioner at the same time.

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