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A/C Cool Credit Program FAQs

General Information

  1. What is the “A/C Cool Credit" program all about?
  2. Who is eligible?
  3. How can I sign up?
  4. Why should I enroll in the program?
  5. What do you mean you'll "cycle" my air conditioner?
  6. You've mentioned receiving a device. Exactly what equipment will be installed?
  7. How long will air conditioners be turned off?

Enrollment

  1. When will the program run?
  2. Will this program reduce my energy consumption?
  3. How does the bill credit work?
  4. Can I choose not to participate in the program on any given day?
  5. How will I know if my air conditioner is being cycled?

Devices and Cycles

  1. Will cycling hurt my air conditioner?
  2. Will this program make my house hot?
  3. Can I quit the program?
  4. What access does Idaho Power need for this program?
  5. Why is Idaho Power sponsoring this program?
  6. How can I get additional information?

 

General Information

1. What is the "A/C Cool Credit” program all about?

A/C Cool Credit is an air conditioner cycling program that results in a shift of energy during the highest-use summer days, helping to ensure reliable power for everyone. It also helps keep costs down by lessening demand for power when electricity demand is at its highest. Your participation in A/C Cool Credit helps to ensure reliable energy and the wise use of our natural resources.

A device is installed near your A/C unit. On a few summer days when electricity is at its peak, the device can cycle your A/C off for a portion of each hour up to a four-hour period. For instance, off for 15 minutes, then on for 15 minutes. This intermittent cycling is safe for your A/C and helps to make sure your home stays comfortable.

2. Who is eligible?

Residential customers who live within the company's service area where the equipment required to support A/C cycling has been installed and is operational and who use central air conditioning may apply. Renters may participate by filling out a landlord approval form, available by calling 1-866-865-COOL (2665). Customers with evaporative (swamp) coolers or window air conditioners are not eligible for the program.

3. How can I sign up?

By returning a completed application card you are indicating a desire to participate and have a device installed at your home. Simply use the online enrollment form or you may also sign up by calling the A/C Cool Credit program at 1-866-865-COOL (2665).

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4. Why should I enroll in the program?

Idaho Power expects peak demand to continue rising annually for the next 20 years, much of it due to increased air conditioning use. You can help slow the demand for power during peak hours by participating in programs like this.

In addition, participants will receive a $5 credit on their monthly Idaho Power bill in July, August, and September.

5. What do you mean you'll "cycle" my air conditioner?

When you enroll in the A/C Cool Credit Program, a device will be installed near your air conditioner. The device has the ability to override the thermostat’s control of the A/C’s compressor. Your air conditioner naturally cycles on and off as needed to maintain a set temperature in your home as determined by the setting on your thermostat. When we send a signal to this device, the air conditioner may cycle off for longer periods of time than normally cycled by the thermostat. This means that the A/C will still operate during these cycling periods, but not as often. This intermittent cycling is safe for your A/C and helps to make sure your home stays comfortable.

On extremely hot days, whether or not there is a cycling event, you may see an increase in the temperature of your home. Previous studies found the in-home temperature increase during a cycling event was less than two degrees.

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6. You've mentioned receiving a device. Exactly what equipment will be installed?

The device is a light gray, weatherized plastic box measuring roughly 7” x 4” x 3.5”. The device is affixed to either the exterior of your house or directly to the outside of your air conditioning unit. Caution is taken to ensure neither the house nor the air conditioner is damaged during installation or removal. A certified field technician will install, test and verify that the device is operating safely with the air conditioner’s compressor. It is not necessary to enter the house to install the equipment, therefore you do not have be home to have the unit installed. Customers who are not present when the installation takes place will be notified the device was installed. If you have more than one air conditioning unit, a device will be installed for each unit.

7. How long will air conditioners be turned off?

It depends on how much demand reduction is needed, but generally it would be 50 to 65 percent of the time during a cycling event. Normally, this would be between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. Cycling will not occur on weekends or holidays. In addition, the system fan will continue to operate regardless of whether the compressor is on or off during a cycling event. Idaho Power reserves the right to cycle air conditioners for longer periods in the unlikely event of a system emergency.

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Enrollment

1. When will the program run?

The A/C Cool Credit program is active June 15 to Aug. 15, with bill credits appearing on the July, August and September statements. Ongoing participation in future summer seasons is assumed as long as you live at your current residence, unless you decide to terminate enrollment.

2. Will this program reduce my energy consumption?

Probably not. The program is designed to shift demand to non-peak hours to better utilize capacity, much like encouraging workers to commute at off-peak times to lessen the total number of vehicles using the highway system at the same time. During the test program most participants used their A/C units later in the evening and consumed the energy not used during cycling.

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3. How does the bill credit work?

After your device is installed we will update our billing records to add a $5 credit to your account on your July, August and September statements. Customers on Budget Pay will not see the credit on these statements but it will be applied to their level pay calculation. Devices must be installed by the 15th of June, July or August in order to receive a credit on the following month’s bill.

4. Can I choose not to participate in the program on any given day?

Yes, if you wish to opt out of the program on a particular day, you may do so by notifying us a day in advance before 4 p.m. You may exercise this option once a month in June, July and August.

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5. How will I know if my air conditioner is being cycled?

A red light on the device will indicate whether the unit’s compressor is currently off due to cycling.

Devices and Cycles

1. Will cycling hurt my air conditioner?

The air conditioner will continue to operate through signals received from the device, just as it was designed to do. The frequency of cycling is within standards developed by the industry.

2. Will this program make my house hot?

Your comfort is extremely important to the success of this program. Previous studies found the in-home temperature increase was less than two degrees.

3. Can I quit the program?

Yes, you may quit the program at any time, but the credit will only apply to those months you actually participated.

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4. What access does Idaho Power need for this program?

We will need access to your air conditioner in order to install the device. For that reason, we want to be sure you don’t have any locked gates, pets or vegetation that might make it difficult for contractors and employees to monitor equipment.

5. Why is Idaho Power sponsoring this program?

We are committed to exploring a variety of programs to meet the growing need for electricity, especially during critical summer peak periods. Programs like this help reduce the amount of electricity that must be generated now and in the future.

6. How can I get additional information?

If you still have questions after reviewing this material, please give us a call via our special A/C Cool Credit program line at 1-866-865-COOL (2665).

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Thoughts On The Program

"This is the second residence in which we've had it installed. We have never noticed the cycles, saves us money, and we help the overall power grid. I don't understand why more people don't sign up for it."
~ Heather

 

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