Getting paid to use less electricity

    PECO will pay up to $30 per month to customers who sign up for a new program. It’s designed to lower power use during peak summer days.

    Utilities urge their customers to raise their thermostats a few degrees to cut electricity use during heat waves. Now PECO Energy is offering to pay customers to let the utility install equipment that goes a step further.

    PECO’s Smart A/C Saver is a device attached between your central air conditioning compressor and its power source. During peak electricity demand, the company cycles off some of the AC units for 15 minutes at a time. This way, not all units are working at once. PECO spokeswoman Cathy Engel says people will barely notice the equipment is working.

    Photo of equipment courtesy of PECO Energy

    “What that does is it reduces energy demand during those highest times of the day, and it also helps customers save money because they are uses less energy. The nice thing about this program, is any customer that chooses to participate will receive a thirty dollar credit during the months of June through September.”

    Engel says customers may notice temperatures rising a degree or two when the system kicks in. The program is optional, and so far only a few hundred people have signed up. PECO is touting it as a way to save money once electricity rate caps expire in 2011.

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