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A Cool Way to Cool Down

Steve Stackhouse-Kaelble (Dec/Jan 08)
Mid-afternoon on a hot summer day - that's when your business really needs to cool down. Problem is, it's the same for every other sweltering business and residential electric customer. Too much energy demand on hot afternoons and the power company will need to find or create new sources of electricity, and that costs a lot.

In South Carolina, public power provider Santee Cooper encourages businesses to control their consumption during peak times, without sweating. The solution is a thermal storage unit, a system that makes ice or chilled water at night, then stores it for cooling during the day.

The utility will screen interested businesses to determine if a thermal storage unit might make sense, and will then pay half the cost of an engineering study (up to a $2,500 contribution) to verify the advantages of such a system. On top of that, Santee Cooper will pay a $200 rebate per kilowatt shifted from the daytime into off-peak hours, to help offset the initial cost of the system.
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