Load Management for Irrigators
Load management helps us reduce wholesale power cost by lowering peak use when power is the most expensive during the hot summer months, generally from June through September.
Like any supply and demand rule, energy is more expensive when the demand is high. Typically, the peak of the energy market is related to the temperature and weather patterns, which vary from year to year.
Irrigation accounts play a pivotal role in the load management program. By participating in the program, irrigators allow Medina EC to shut off power to irrigation equipment on days the market is experiencing high demand. This reduces the overall demand Medina EC requires at key moments, which lowers our power costs. About 75 percent of irrigation accounts are enrolled in this program. In exchange for their participation, irrigators receive a reduced rate on demand and energy charges.
The 2022 Load Management season is complete.
Members with irrigation rates interested in participating in the program must enroll by April 20, 2023. You can enroll your account(s) by completing this form for each account. You can also download a PDF version of the agreement here.
Load management members receive notification via text or phone call, based on their preference.
You can sign up for text notifications about irrigation related load control events by texting LM to 1-855-429-1119. To be put on the notification list for weekly load control forecasts during the load management season, text FORECAST to 1-855-429-1119.
If you have previously opted out of text messages from this number and want to re-enroll, you must text START to 1-855-429-1119. Medina EC cannot re-enroll you after you've stopped messages from this number.
You can sign up for one or both lists. You can also sign up by filling out the form below:
How to Read Your Bill: Load Management/Non-Load Management Comparison
From its beginning in the 1980s, the goal of the load management program has been to reduce wholesale power costs for the cooperative. Currently, this is accomplished by lowering Medina EC’s share of the demand on the Electric Reliability Council of Texas grid at key times. Irrigation loads were identified as a prime candidate due to the amount of load that can be controlled versus the cost of the equipment needed to control the load when compared with residential loads and other types of accounts.
The reason load management helps reduce costs is because one component of Medina EC’s wholesale power cost is based on the cooperative’s share of the ERCOT peak demand, determined by the highest ERCOT use during a single 15-minute interval, during the months of June, July, August and September. By implementing the load management program and decreasing the cooperative’s share, Medina EC’s wholesale power costs are lowered. In exchange for the inconvenience of allowing the cooperative to control irrigation load, participating irrigators receive the bulk of the savings through a reduced rate.
Decisions to implement or not implement the load management program each day in June, July, August and September are driven by the likelihood of a monthly peak 15-minute interval occurring in the load management window. It is not because the ERCOT market is under stress due to generation supply issues as we saw in February 2021. If that occurred again, any forced outages resulting from those types of supply and demand issues would impact all members, not just irrigation accounts.
The ERCOT market has seen significant changes over the last few years due to the changing market dynamics in ERCOT. More utilities are adding load management systems while other utilities are participating in ERCOT market functions aimed at reducing load. These changes are causing the peak days and intervals to be even more unpredictable than they were in the past. That is why the cooperative provides a “restore by” time and then sends out an additional text message when the load has moved away from its peak.
Decisions to implement a load management event are made by Medina EC staff with the goal of reducing demand at the monthly peak 15-minute intervals. With the market continuing to change, Medina EC will continue to work to keep you informed of any changes to the load management program.
Medina EC's load management program is not the same as an ERCOT load shed/forced outage event.
Just as in the past, load management events can occur any day and time during June to September, including holidays and weekends. It generally occurs between 2 and 7 p.m. The cooperative will make every effort to notify you 30 minutes prior to load management events. However, because of how quickly conditions can change, last minute decisions are sometimes needed, and it is possible in those cases that little or no notice could be given.
You can enroll to be notified with a forecast for the likelihood of load management events that week. It is the cooperative’s hope that this information will help participating irrigators in their planning for various processes. Forecasts will be based on the data available at that time and will be posted at MedinaEC.org/LM around 2 p.m. each Monday. A link to that information will also be sent to all members who opt in to those notifications. It is important to remember that just like a weather forecast, load management forecasts can change. You can sign up to receive those notifications by texting FORECAST to 1-855-429-1119 or by completing this form.
We continue to analyze and evaluate the load management program to maximize savings to Medina EC and passing 100% of those savings to the irrigators that caused the savings.
In exchange for their participation in the program, irrigators receive a reduced rate on demand and energy charges. You can compare those rates at MedinaEC.org/Rates by reviewing irrigation rates 310 and 311.
If you have an irrigation account and would like specific information or comparisons for your account on rate 310 vs. 311, please contact us. Offering the load management program is a business decision for Medina EC and we recognize participating in it is a voluntary business decision for irrigators as well. We want to be sure you have all available data to make that decision.
You can choose to be notified by text message or automated phone call or both.
You can sign up for text notifications about irrigation related load control events by texting keyword LM to 1-855-429-1119. To be put on the notification list for weekly load control forecasts during the load management season, text keyword FORECAST to 1-855-429-1119.
If you have previously opted out of text messages from this number and want to re-enroll, you must text keyword START to 1-855-429-1119. Medina EC cannot re-enroll you after you've stopped messages from this number.
If you want to receive call notifications must complete this form by checking “I want to receive Load Management notifications.”
Irrigators are allowed a One-Time Opt Out for load management events for maximum of one (1) calendar month during the load management season.
The opt out option enables you to designate meter(s) to opt out of load management events in the day, week, or month of your choosing (June, July, August, or September). All load control decisions are made with the goal of reducing demand, and the associated costs, at key peak times each month. For that reason, irrigators that choose to opt out will be required to pay all related power costs associated with the demand on the account during the Electric Reliability Council of Texas coincident peak (ERCOT 4CP) for the opt out month. The ERCOT 4CP is determined at the end of the month. The cooperative is not able to predict which day the ERCOT CP will be set.
If you would like to see how opting out of load management for one calendar month during this season could impact the bill for your meter(s) based on historical demand, please call to discuss it with one of our staff members.
If you choose to opt out, you will be required to come to a Medina EC office and sign a document acknowledging the opt out for each meter in person. Please call ahead of time so we can have all your account information prepared for you to review and sign.