Smart Select FAQ
Smart Select FAQs
What is Load Management?
Load Management uses a small control switch which interrupts power to an appliance or motor. This switch is connected to your appliance. You voluntarily give Flint the privilege of interrupting power for short periods of time in exchange for a monetary bill credit.
Why does Load Management make sense?
Everybody wins when electricity is used more efficiently. The member saves immediately with bill credits and helps control the future cost of power. Flint saves kilowatt demand charges in its wholesale power bill payments. By reducing the electricity used during the top peak hours each summer. Flint can significantly reduce its electric bill.
What are Peak Hours?
Peak hours are the hours during the day when our usage is the greatest. Typically during the summer months (May 1st to October 31st) peak demand occurs between 2-8 p.m. During these hours many more members are at home, actively using hot water, A/C and running pool pumps.
When will Load Management be used?
Flint generally expects to operate the Smart Select load management program on the hottest afternoons from May to October during the hours of 2 to 8 p.m. Flint Energies may operate during critical peak times such as weekends, holidays or winter months, should the demand for power become so great that it creates a need to manage the use of electricity.
How will I know when the switch is activated? Is it possible to bypass the switch?
The switch has an LED light display window on the front. A green (blinking) light shows the switch is powered up and the red light indicates the switch is operational indicating the appliance that is participating in Smart Select program. The switch cannot be over ridden or bypassed from your home. If the switch needs to be deactivated for maintenance/service work please call us at 1-866-988-3902.
Who qualifies for Smart Select Load Management?
Any residential member served by Flint Energies. Flint will control any central A/C, heat pumps, 40 gal. or more electric water heaters and /or pool pumps. Flint will not control window unit air conditioners. Business units are eligible for load management as long as their air conditioners and water heaters are residential sized (less that 5 ton air conditioner and less than 85 gallon water heater).
How does the switch work?
A signal will be sent from the office on the day of operation to each switch. From the office console Flint Energies has two-way communications capabilities to send and receive information from the switch. What this means is once we send the command to cycle off a switch we will be able to see that the switch has received the command and has cycled off the appliance. At the end of our load management operation we send a second command to the switches to release the appliance from load management, thus allowing the appliance to operate as usual. We will be able to determine if there is a problem with a switch from the office based on information sent back to the office from the switch, which allows us to give better quality of system service to our members.
How long will the Appliance be off?
Water heaters and pool pumps will be turned off for the entire time load management operates. Air conditioners will cycle off for 8 1/2 minutes out of every half hour during the operation of load management; however the fan will continue to run.
Will I be inconvenienced?
No. The member rarely notices the switch has operated. The water heater and pool pump is cycled off for the whole peak period. The tanks reserve of hot water should supply plenty of hot water during the time the water heater is cycled off. The air conditioner compressor will be operating some during the activated period and the circulating fan continues to operated during the entire period, the temperature in the home should not rise more that a couple of degrees (if any). The slight rise in temperature should not generate any discomfort. It will not be necessary to adjust your thermostat during the operational hours of our load management program. The switch will not affect thermostats settings of your appliances.
Does this program lower my monthly electric bill?
Our load management program will not reduce the direct cost of your monthly power bill. It does however, reduce the amount of kilowatt-hours purchased during peak demand hours of usage, thus helping Flint Energies keep our rates down.
What does it cost to participate in the Smart Select program?
It cost nothing to participate, the switch is installed free of charge and satisfaction is guaranteed. If you are not satisfied with the switch, the switch will be deactivated at no cost to you. Most members never notice the switch’s operation.
If I previously participated in the Smart Select program, will I need to reapply?
Yes, everyone is considered a new participant in the Load Management program. If you have the old switch at your residence it will be removed and replaced with the new two-way communication switch.
Will I need to sign up for the Smart Select program every year?
No. Once the switch is installed at your home you will automatically continue in the program each year unless the program is discontinued or you request to have the switch deactivated.
How do I benefit from the Smart Select Load Management program?
As a participating member, you will receive a one time incentive bill credit of $36 for signing up and meeting our installation technician for a switch install. In the fall of each year after we have successfully operated our load management program, you will receive a $25 participation bill credit issued during the month of October. There is no installation cost, no maintenance cost and no cost for deactivating the switch. Secondly, by enrolling in Flint Energies Smart Select program, you help reduce the need for future power generation. When you participate in load management, you also help us keep cost down by reducing the amount of electricity we have to purchase during our peak demand hours, which is a time when electricity is usually the most expensive.
Do I get additional credits for having more than one switch install at my home?
No, credits are given for participating in the Smart Select program, not on a per switch basis. Bill credits will be issued during the month of November, after a successful year of Load Management operation.
Who will install the switch?
Flint Energies employees will install load management switches through out our entire service area. Flint Energies guarantees 100% satisfaction to our members.
How long will the installation take? Will I need to be at home?
The installation should not take longer than an hour. For the installation of a water heater switch an appointment is necessary. Installation on the A/C unit or pool pump an appointment is not needed, unless there is a locked fence or animals in the yard. If you are having more than one switch installed the entire installation will take longer than an hour.
Who do I call if I have questions or problems?
What should I do when leaving for an extended period of time?
We recommend that you set your thermostat to a higher temperature in the summer and a lower temperature in the winter since no one will be home for the extended period of time. This is not as a result of participating in the Smart Select program, but actively participating in the conservation of Smart Select program, but actively participating in the conservation of electricity.
If I need service, maintenance or replacement of my A/C, water heater or pool pumps what should I do?
You will need to make the service technician aware that you are participating in the Smart Select load management program so that he does not inadvertently disconnect the switch. Ask the technician to call Flint Energies Smart Select at 1-866-988-3902 or 1-478-988-3902 for assistance. We will need to answer any question(s) he may have and possibly deactivate the switch during the work or replacement on the appliance.
What if I move or sell my home?
Please let the new renter/owner know about the switch and that you are participating in Flint Energies Smart Select program. We will be glad to answer any question(s) the new renter/owner may have about our program.
Can I participate if I live in a condominium, townhouse, and apartment or rental property?
Yes, but we will need a consent form signed by both the renter and the owner of the property.