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Off-peak electricity credits would come monthly

The Wadena City Council approved several changes to the city's electric off-peak policy.

Instead of giving a one-time rebate for water heaters on off-peak that is supposed to carry over for 10 years, Electric Superintendent Dave Evans recommended giving a monthly $8 credit to participating customers on their electric bill.

This would ensure that the person who received the rebate is the one who is inconvenienced with off-peak service, he said. It would also ensure that the city does not give a rebate that is supposed to cover 10 years, but only covers two years if, for example, a new homeowner does not wish to continue with off-peak service.

All existing off-peak water heater customers will automatically be switched to the new policy when their existing eligibility period ends, according to the policy.

Evans also suggested changing the city's policy for air conditioners on off-peak to a rebate program similar to the water heater program. That way there isn't the extra expense of metering it separately, Evans said. The $8.50 credit would be applied June, July, August and September. Eligible air conditioners must be a whole house or central type system with an outdoor compressor unit, according to the policy, and must have a seasonal energy efficiency ratio of 14.5 or greater if it is a new installation.

Both the water heater and air conditioner policies provide customers a one-time $50 rebate for the installation of the load management controller.

Evans bases the rebate numbers for both water heaters and air conditioners on how much off-peak is going to save the city of Wadena, he said.

"We're not using people who aren't on the program to supplement this," he said. "It's the exact savings."

The other change to the off-peak program is for electric heat customers, Evans said. They are now allowing air to air heat pumps to be in the program.