What it is
This voluntary program allows MGE to shut off participating customers' central air conditioners when we need emergency power. MGE pays participants $2 for every 15-minute increment the air conditioner is shut off.
How it works
- When you sign up, a small electronic device is installed outdoors on or near your central air conditioner.
- When a need for reserve power occurs, an MGE power dispatcher sends a radio signal that shuts off the air conditioner's compressor.
- When reserve power is no longer needed, another signal turns on the air conditioner again.
- Your air conditioner won't be shut off after 10 p.m. or on Sundays or holidays.
Why we offer it
- Central air conditioners account for more electricity use during high-demand periods than any other appliance.
- Power Control provides emergency power reserves at lower cost than building new generators.
- These savings benefit all customers.
Frequently asked questions
When would my air conditioner be turned off?
A shutoff is more likely on a very hot weekday between noon and 8 p.m. You won't be shut off after 10 p.m. or on Sundays or holidays.
What does a Power Control switch look like?
It can be mounted on the air conditioner itself or on the wall nearby. A red light in the window (see arrow) goes on if the air conditioner is shut off.
Could Power Control damage my air conditioner?
No, Power Control turns your air conditioner on and off like your thermostat does.
What if I change my mind?
- Power Control participation is voluntary.
- Call us at 252-7117 to stop participation.
If you need to have your air-conditioning turned back on during a shutoff, we will charge you $25. If someone living in your household needs air-conditioning for health reasons, do not participate in this program.
Do I need to sign up every year?
No. You remain in the program until you call to cancel or move.
What's in it for me?
You will be paid $8 per hour of shutoff. First-time sign-ups can choose one of the following gifts (limit one per address):
- Package of energy-efficient lightbulbs and a portable energy meter
- Setback thermostat (installed)
- $25 MGE bill credit
Who can I talk to for more information or to sign up?
Call MGE at 252-7117 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
For more information
- Power Control brochure [325 kB PDF]