New energy-saving programs help customers reduce energy demand

05/02/2014

News

As another hot South Texas summer approaches, CPS Energy has expanded the options available to customers who are interested in saving energy and money. These options will not only give customers the opportunity to reduce their monthly bill, but also help improve the reliability of the state electrical grid during periods of high energy demand.

The programs – Friedrich’s Kühl Window AC, the Cool Energy Program, and the Nest® Learning Thermostat, are new additions to CPS Energy’s ongoing Demand Response initiative. Already, almost 100,000 customers are taking advantage of the Home Manager energy management system and CPS Energy Savers Smart Thermostat. All of these programs offer customers control of their home energy use through convenient, wireless technology. Customers can adjust settings from home or away from home using a computer or mobile device.

Customers on these programs can help CPS Energy manage community energy use on high or “peak” demand days during Demand Response season – June 1 through Sept. 30. During this season, “conservation” events may be called on days of expected peak demand – like a hot summer day. During an event, participants will see their thermostat, window air conditioner, or other device adjust to a slightly higher thermostat setting to help reduce energy demand, since air conditioners are the biggest draw on electrical power. Participants likely won’t notice the change, but they will have the chance to opt out of any called event. They will not only see energy savings and corresponding lower bills, but they may be eligible for financial incentives for their participation.

Last year, participants in CPS Energy’s residential Demand Response programs, through Home Manager and Smart Thermostat, saved 61 megawatts of energy during the conservation season.

Like Home Manager and Smart Thermostat, the Nest Learning Thermostat can be used in homes with central air conditioning systems. It is a programmable device that learns your daily air conditioning routine and develops a program to run your system more efficiently. It can be remotely controlled from computers or a mobile device. Customers who purchase the Nest Thermostat and enroll in the Rush Hour Rewards™ program will receive a one-time $85 credit on their CPS Energy account and be eligible for another $30 account credit at the end of Demand Response season. The Nest program will roll out June 2.

Two of the latest program additions allow customers without a central AC system to enroll in Demand Response and reap the rewards of participation.

Friedrich’s Kühl Window AC units are high-quality, durable window units that offer programmable energy management programs to encourage conservation. The units, only sold at Conn’s stores, can be purchased at a discount price. A free wireless FriedrichLink adapter is included with purchase. When customers enroll in the CPS Energy Kühl AC Program, they can receive up to $300 in credits to their account (depending on the Kühl unit purchased). For their participation, they also may receive a $30 credit at the end of the conservation season.

The free Cool Energy Program smartAC kit – a wireless smart plug – connects to an existing window air conditioner to improve the efficiency of the unit. Like other programs, temperature settings can be controlled from a smartphone or any Internet-connected computer. All eligible participants of the Cool Energy Program receive a free smartAC kit ($140 value) and a $30 credit on their account at the end of the conservation season.

Home Manager is a FREE energy management system. It allows customers to control their air conditioner, electric water heater and pool pump with a computer or mobile device. Users can monitor their energy usage and create programs to use those devices more efficiently and save money. Home Manager is a great fit if you: have central air conditioning and an electric water heater; own your home; and are away from the house for extended periods of time.

If not Home Manager, the Smart Thermostat may be a good option. With this program, participants get a FREE Honeywell programmable thermostat. The temperature setting at home can be changed from anywhere, anytime using a computer. The Smart Thermostat can help users save up to 10 percent or more on heating and cooling costs by programming it to meet daily routines and use energy more efficiently.

Customers interested in Demand Response programs and other energy-saving programs can find more details at cpsenergysavers.com.

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