Watts Smart Load Management

Watts Smart Load Management

graphic for load management program


An electric system works best when electricity use remains steady throughout the day. But because of weather, lifestyles, and schedules, your cooperative’s demand for electricity varies by hour, day, month, and even year to year. This creates peaks and valleys in total electric use. Load management helps to balance electric supply with electrical demand.

Watts Smart is an innovative program designed to save energy by cycling electric storage water heaters during hours of peak energy usage.

How can you participate?

To sign up for the Watts Smart program, call our Energy Efficiency Department at 319.267.2726 or 888.267.2726, stop by our office in Allison or send us an email.

Why should you participate?

  • Butler County REC is different from most businesses; we’re a not-for-profit electric cooperative owned by those we serve. We are committed to helping you use energy wisely as we work to provide power that is affordable, reliable, safe and environmentally responsible.
  • Energy-efficiency programs only work if members like you participate in them. And if you’ve participated in our energy-efficiency programs previously, thank you! You’ve contributed to the cooperative cause by saving energy and money for your home or business.
  • We like to think that the “greenest” kilowatt-hour is the one you never use. Butler County REC and the electric cooperatives of Iowa have a long history of commitment to energy efficiency and a solid track record of energy and cost-saving results. That’s something we can all be proud of.

How does this program work?

Participating is easy. At no cost to you, Butler County REC installs a switch that remotely controls your electric water heater during times when demand for electricity is at its peak. These peak periods are also the times when wholesale electricity cost the most. Reducing peak demand is wise energy use that helps reduce costs – for you and for Butler County REC.

  • During times of high power costs or peak demand, our power supplier, Corn Belt Power Cooperative, sends a signal to the switch that temporarily interrupts electricity to your water heater. Generally, the interruption lasts for only a few hours on a limited number of the hottest and coldest days of the year. When the signal ends, the equipment returns to normal operation.
  • Because your electric water heater acts as a storage device, there should be no loss of hot water. At electric cooperatives around the country, these energy management programs have proven to be successful and effective.
  • Everyone who participates receives a free Watts Smart in-home indicator that gives instant updates when peak demand situations are near or occurring.
  • If you are ever dissatisfied or inconvenienced, we will remove the switch at no cost.