Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Westar Energy on Friday will officially launch WattSaver, the latest addition to its EfficiencyWorks programs designed to help customers save money and energy while helping the utility delay the need for new power plants.
“WattSaver is a partnership between Westar Energy and our customers,” said Ludwig. “This is a great opportunity for customers to save energy, save money and help the environment. It helps us keep costs reasonable and delay building new power plants.”
Participants in the WattSaver program receive a free programmable Honeywell UtilityPRO thermostat. Because the WattSaver thermostat is both programmable and more accurate than older, conventional thermostats, participants can save up to 20% on their annual heating and cooling costs.
Participants also become part of the solution to help balance the increasing demand with the supply of electricity in Kansas. On the hottest weekday
afternoons from June through September, when demands on Westar Energy’s system are the highest, the utility can call on these thermostats to reduce energy demand.
Participation is voluntary and satisfaction is guaranteed. If a participant decides to no longer participate in the WattSaver program, Westar Energy will reinstall the participant’s original thermostat at no cost to the participant.
By reducing the demand for electricity, WattSaver participants help Westar Energy avoid buying expensive power on the wholesale market and help delay the need to build new power plants.
“This joint effort between Westar Energy and our customers helps manage electricity prices now and in the future,” Ludwig added.
The WattSaver operations will be based in Wichita, bringing more than 20 new jobs to the city. The program initially will focus on gaining participation in the Wichita area and then will be available to customers throughout the Westar Energy service territory. Westar Energy aims to install 90,000 thermostats by 2016. This will provide about 90 megawatts of demand
reduction, which would avoid the need to construct a small peaking power plant.
The WattSaver program is available to residential customers as well as small and medium commercial customers who have a central air conditioner or heat pump in good working condition. Qualified WattSaver participants receive a professionally installed programmable thermostat for their home or business, 24-hour toll-free customer service hotline, plus the ability to program their thermostat through any computer connected to the Internet.
The product and service package is valued at more than $300.
WattSaver thermostats reduce demand by cycling the compressor of participants’ central air conditioners and heat pumps in a coordinated effort, alternating 15 minutes on with 15 minutes off. During this time, the fan on the equipment runs continuously to help maintain comfort in the participant’s home. These cycling events normally last about four hours or less and occur infrequently and only on weekdays – never on weekends or holidays.
Participants may choose to not participate in one cycling event per month.
Additional information and registration for the program are available at
www.westarenergy.com/wattsaver or by calling the WattSaver hotline at 1-888-753-6523.
WattSaver in Summary:
• Participants receive a free, professionally installed programmable thermostat with the ability to program it using any computer connected to the Internet along with 24/7 customer service – a product and service package valued at more than $300.
• Participants can save up to 20% on their heating and cooling bills.
• WattSaver is available to qualified Westar Energy residential as well as small and medium commercial customers with an air conditioner or heat pump in good working condition.
• WattSaver will help the environment through reduced energy use.
• WattSaver participants help reduce electricity demand on the hottest weekdays, working together with Westar to keep energy costs down and delaying the need for new power plants.