An energy consumption control system and method for use by a utility company for reducing energy consumption during peak hours of demand. The system includes a centralized code signal generator for selectively generating one or more distinguishable control codes, a multiplexer for impressing these control codes upon the carrier of an existing commercial broadcast station, and a plurality of radio receivers each stationed at a selected customer location for disconnecting selected appliances upon receipt of one of said control codes. Each receiver includes a signal detector for detecting the reception of one of said control codes and a disconnect switch for disconnnecting selected appliances of the customer upon detection of one of said control codes. A timer may be used for sustaining the operation of the disconnect switch after detection of one of said control codes for a predetermined period of time. Alternatively, a latching relay on microprocessor scheme may be used in which case the appliance will remain disconnected until the transmission of a second control code is detected.
The system is disclosed as useful for controlling gas or water as well as electrical energy consumption.