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Pilot Program

Calling All Interested Members: Water Heater Pilot Program

South River EMC will be taking part in a water heater pilot program along with several other cooperatives across the state.

South River EMC is recruiting 25 members to participate in the water heater program. What does it entail? Participation requires you to have a home that receives electric service from South River EMC, to have operational Wi-Fi in the home, have an electric water heater (at least 40 gallons) and a willingness to cooperate with our pilot program guidelines. The ideal candidate home will be working families with a water heater that is easily accessible. The home with small children at home all day or a stay-at-home adult are not ideal candidates due to the event times and the goal to avoid inconvenience to the member household.

Participants will agree to have a Smart Water Switch installed on or near the primary water heater. The switch will enable us to turn on and off your water heater elements during an event and monitor water temperature throughout events. During an event, a signal is sent to the switch via Wi-Fi or 4G cellular signal to turn off the water heater. During the summer months (June and July), this will occur twice a day on days we anticipate hitting peak use. The times are generally between 6-9 a.m. and 3-9 p.m. This will occur four or five times each month. For the remaining months, we will operate the switches to turn off water heaters twice daily at the same hours described for summertime. Because newer water heaters are so well insulated, you shouldn't experience a significant loss of heat from the water, but just to make sure, we will constantly maintain water temperatures and if they drop to 110 degrees, the switch will enable the elements to run long enough to heat the water back to 114 degrees before shutting off the heating elements again until the end of the event.

The smart switch is also constantly monitoring the water heater to identify any irregular activity, which would generally result from a water heater leak or thermostat problems. If this is detected, the member will be contacted. Participating members will receive a $2 monthly credit for the year they are enrolled in this pilot program.

If you are interested in participating, please contact us at, place WH Pilot in the subject line, and provide your name, account number and address. Someone will contact you about your interest and we will make an appointment to install the switch.

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