Why would there be a second meter on the AC?

The only reason I can think of is someone wants to track the electric usage of the condensing unit.

May be for load control. Typically, you sign up with the local utility and they control when the appliance runs during peak electrical demand times. In exchange, you get the power the appliance uses at a discount. Therefore you need 2 meters. I have it at my house for my AC, furnace, and water heater.

For furnace use, you have to have a back-up source of heat.


Yea, my first thought was it would enable a landlord to say “free AC included in rent!” And then they could calculate how much power was used for that.

It’s in a slightly strange subdivision that seems kinda retirement-friendly, for whatever that’s worth.

Interesting, thank you!

First time I’ve heard of it, but “Interruptable Air Conditioning”.



Do you have Xcel Energy? Out here Xcel puts their meter on the condenser to control it during peak times.

No, we have a local rural power cooperative (Mcleod Co-op). I have a meter on our light pole and another on the side of the house. Next to the meter on the house is a radio receiver that gets the signal to shut off power. All of the electricity used by my AC, furnace, and water heater still comes through the pole meter, but is then routed through a “switch” that is controlled by the power company. After the switch, the power is ran through the 2nd meter and then to the appliances. This allows them to determine the amount of power being used by those appliances.

I have simplified the above description quite a bit but that is the jest of it. The discount we get for the controlled power amounts to roughly 50% off. For my furnace, I have a fuel oil furnace with electric heating elements installed in the plenum above the AC coil. The heating elements are my primary heat and the fuel oil is my back-up. It is all hooked up to switch automatically when they kill power to the electric elements. I can also manually switch it if fuel oil prices get real low and become cheaper than half-price electric. I check every now and again and unless fuel oil gets to like $1.75 a gallon, the discounted electrical is cheaper. Of course I do have to manually switch it every now and again to use up the older fuel oil.


So they can prove to their wife how much it costs each month to keep the house at 55 degrees! :slight_smile:


Having the POCO control your usage during peak time was a big sell around here about 20 - 25 years ago for a $5 month rebate. The device on the left side is what thy used, and low and behold most are now disconnected as people wised up.


Here in NWPA there are 2 meters. One for normal use, and the other for electric heating. They will give a reduced rate for the 2nd meter.


Which one gets a reduced rate? I’m curious if the government wants to help me be warm or have light to read by?

Darker than a bat cave, colder than a meat locker. I hear you brother!

1 Like