We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is Load Management?

By Jerry Morrison
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
About Mechanics is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At About Mechanics, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Load management involves regulating the demand for electrical power. Typically, this is done by restricting the use of electricity during peak periods of demand, and encouraging consumers to shift their usage to off-peak times. Most power networks operate at a fraction of their capacity during off-peak hours and at maximum only during the relatively short peak hours. Managing the load, or demand, distributes production requirements more evenly over a day. Reacting to demand at the generating level and costly infrastructure upgrades can both be minimized by load management.

Electricity can not be effectively stored in large amounts at a reasonable cost. It must be generated in real time to meet consumer demands. When demand threatens to outstrip a network's capacity, steps are taken to avoid an outage. Additional generating resources must be brought online, electricity must be purchased from outside the network, or the demand must be controlled. Usually, a combination of these solutions is put into effect according to plan.

Bringing backup generating capacity online and purchasing electricity increase a utility's operating costs. Generating plants that are underutilized during off-peak hours also increase costs. These factors also increase the cost to consumers. Load management seeks to distribute demand evenly over time, enabling generating facilities to meet anticipated load requirements while efficiently operating at cost effective levels.

When high demand threatens the stability of a network, load management techniques can directly intervene. Ripple control is one widely used method, sending a signal over power lines to periodically turn off nonessential domestic and industrial loads. In severely stressed networks, nonessential usage might be restricted to only a few hours daily.

Modern versions of this system include a two-way communication capability to precisely target equipment that is in actual use. For example, if ten air conditioners were found to be in use in a neighborhood, the system might shut down each in turn for ten minutes every hour. The houses would still be cooled, but the cumulative effect would be equal to one less unit in operation.

Load management policies are frequently motivated by economic considerations and employ economic incentives. If a network's load is spread evenly over time, a smaller generating plant operating at its most efficient capacity can meet power production requirements. A two-tiered rate system is often employed as part of a load management program to encourage electrical consumption during low demand periods.

About Mechanics is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

About Mechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

About Mechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.