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PECO Unplugs Smart A.C. Saver Program

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By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – If you signed up for PECO’s “Smart A.C. Saver” program, you may have a useless piece of equipment attached to your air conditioner. PECO plans to end the program.

It was a great deal for certain customers: let PECO attach a device that would allow it to remotely turn off your air conditioning during periods of high heat and humidity, when the grid was stressed, and you get $120. Eighty-thousand people signed up.

But PECO spokesman Ben Armstrong says the program is on hold. “It’s not cost effective for the company to run those programs.”

Armstrong explains that the state energy reduction act of 2008 required utilities to lower energy consumption by 3 percent by 2013 and allowed them to recover the costs of “demand response” programs (like smart A.C. Saver) through rate increases. In the next phase of the act, PECO has to reduce consumption by another 2.9 percent by 2016 but demand response programs are no longer covered.

Armstrong says customers should keep the devices though, because it might be back.

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