At Wisconsin Electric Power Co., Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S., we've developed a diverse mix of load management programs to help our customers plan for their energy needs and to ensure our system's integrity under the most severe conditions. Such conditions existed beginning on July 13, 1995, when a new record of 5332 MW was set and was later repeatedly broken by the heat, ending at 5368 MW on July 31. Clearly, our variety of load management programs and our customers' cooperation combined to keep all of our power plants running during a series of some of the hottest days we have experienced.

At this time, we have approximately 164 MW served on one of our various load management rates. These are in two categories - direct load control and customer control - and include all classes of customers, from residential to industrial. In addition to conventional time-of-use rates, our residential customers can join our Energy Partners Program. The more than 25,000 current participants may choose from three options to control their central a/c compressors.

Our industrial and commercial customers can choose from three load management rates. All of them receive a personal computer with Enerlink software as well as a LCR and signal light stack. They're notified of pending curtailments through electronic mail as well as by triggering an alarm via the stack. These rate plans include: Energy cooperative rate. Places participating customers into groups of 10 MW of load relief. Curtailable rate. For larger commercial and industrial customers who can provide at least 500 kW of load relief. Interruptible rate. Our only industrial and commercial rate where customer loads are under direct control.

Our load management programs paid off when temperatures hit 900F (320C) and higher on July 12, 1995. Then, curtailable and interruptible customers were put into an economy curtailment for up to 8 hr. On July 13, they were notified that capacity interruption would occur for nearly 10 hr throughout the day.

Customers responded by reducing load almost immediately. A public appeal through the media requesting that customers reduce electrical consumption also netted positive results. In addition, the energy cooperative group was in capacity curtailment for about 8 hr. Combined with the residential Energy Partners Program, the actual relief achieved was 122.6 MW.

On July 14, we appealed to both commercial and residential customers early to reduce their electrical consumption as much as possible. Although relief was experienced through capacity interruptions and curtailment of our large industrial customers, the intense heat and humidity limited the total relief to 43.4 MW, down significantly from the previous day.

All available substation electricians and troubleshooters were involved in around-the-clock substation alarm checking, inspections and trouble resolution. Line crews also provided continuous support on the distribution system. Our telephone group reported some 8000 contacts on July 13 and 12,000 on July 14. A typical day has 5000.

The result: no rolling interruptions, and we were able to provide our load management customers with some of the best examples of how and why our programs work.

Looking ahead to 1996, our Load Management Group has ambitious plans to add 20 MW of new controllable load to bring the total to 184 MW. Currently, it is planned that 10 MW of this will result from our real-time pricing (RTP) pilot, which begins March 1, 1996, while the remainder will come from the traditional rates.

The RTP pilot will involve a group of industrial customers placed on an experimental rate for one year. These customers will purchase their energy according to a day-ahead, 24-hr price schedule, which will be given to them each afternoon and will be charged a fixed access fee in place of a traditional demand charge. Current plans are to expand the industrial pilot to 30 MW within two years and to add residential and commercial RTP pilots in 1996-97.