A method and apparatus which permits a power utility to have direct control of customers loads (CD) with a view toward facilitating enablement of a load management philosophy which includes peak shaving and load deferral. A master control station (MCS), which comprises a programmable microprocessor-based central controller, is in two-way communication with a plurality of substation injection units (SIU), one of each of which is positioned at a separate substation of the power utility. Each substation injection unit (SIU), under the control of its own microprocessor, responds to master control signals from the master control station (MCS) to inject a pulse code signal onto the power lines of the utility. The system includes a plurality of remote receiver units (RRU) which are positioned at and connected to control the on and off times of customer loads (CD). Each remote receiver unit (RRU) is preset to respond to particular pulse code signals from the substation injection units (SIU) to carry out the desired command functions, which can be implemented either automatically or manually on a fixed or dynamic-cycle basis as the need arises. The system utilizes a command signal and pulse code signal verification technique to insure system integrity and reliability.