Watts News
 Published for the members of North Itasca Electric Cooperative
VOL. 24 NO. 6  -  June 2020

Summer Building projects


The building mechanics also need consideration. The installation of a well, sewer and electrical also requires permitting. Contractors normally pull permits for the work they do, but if you are planning on doing some of the work yourself such as the electrical wiring, you will be responsible for getting the appropriate permits for the inspection fee.

Not considering these things ahead of time could result in fines or even the removal of the work you have already done.

Along with these permits, decisions will need to be made on the source of heat you would like to use. There is a variety of heating options available such as forced air systems, electric baseboard and in-floor heating to name a few. From North Itasca Electric’s perspective, an in-floor heating system is the way to go using an electric boiler for heating a concrete slab. Once the slab is heated, it holds that heat for quite some time. This radiant heat only heats the objects in the space, not the air; keeping the heat where you need it, not along the ceiling.

How do you know what size electric boiler you will need to heat this space? A qualified heating contractor could help with this, but if you are planning on doing the work yourself, North Itasca Electric can help you with all that. Whether you or a contractor does the work, North Itasca Electric will still need to know the system details to provide you with the proper sizing for meter sockets and the transformer.

North Itasca Electric also offers two load control programs for its members using electric heat to help reduce costs. These programs are the Dual Fuel and Storage Space Heating program rates.

  • Dual Fuel Program rate $0.0565 per kWh.
  • Storage Space Heating Program rate $0.047 per kWh.

Those on the Dual Fuel Program will experience their electric heat turned off during high peak periods. A radio receiver mounted to the sub meter receives a signal which opens a relay turning off the electric heating equipment until that peak period ends. This prevents extra demand charges North Itasca Electric must pay Great River Energy that month, which saves money for you, the member, as well. During this peak period, when the electric equipment is turned off, a propane backup system takes over until the peak period ends and the electric heat can be restored. This is done automatically with no effort by the homeowner.

The Storage Space Heating program is different in that it heats and stores energy in a media during the nighttime hours when energy supplies are high and production costs are low. This stored heat is used to heat the building space throughout the day until recharged again the following night.

When using the Storage Space Heating Program, calculations are important because enough heat needs to be stored for a 16-hour period until it can be charged again the following night. These calculations need to be slightly more than twice that of a Dual Fuel system which in many cases increase service and transformer sizes.

For the best options for your new building heating system, give me a call at (218) 743-1313 and we can work through it together.