Some We Energies customers willing to give up air conditioning for bill credit
WTMJ News Team
Tom Murray reportsPhoto: Video by tmj4.com
MILWAUKEE- We Energies has homeowners willing to give up their air conditioning if there's too much demand for electricity.
But, We Energies hasn't had to call on those volunteers for years.
How does a $40 or $50 credit on your We Energies bill sound?
Thousands of homeowners have boxes outside their homes to get that credit -- they just have to be willing to give up their air conditioning on extremely hot days.
Susie Stoner is a school principal and home for the summer. She's especially thankful for her air conditioning on extremely hot days like Monday.
"Our summers are warm," said Stoner. "I think is a little more extreme than what we've been used to."
But Stoner's willing to give up that air conditioning if energy demand spikes. We Energies put a special box on her unit that allows the company to remotely turn off her air conditioning; decreasing the load on the power system, in exchange she gets a credit on her bill.
"I got home from work one day and it was installed and I don't even really think about it," said Stoner.
Stoner is one of about 40,000 homeowners, dubbed Energy Partners by We Energies. Except now, We Energies said it's doing such a good job generating electricity, it hasn't had to shut off anyone's air conditioning for years.
"The last time we used the energy partners system was in 2007. We cycled it once," said Cathy Schulz of We Energies.
And you can still sign up, We Energies will give you $40 a year if you're willing to have your air conditioning shut off for up to four hours a day; $50 a year if you'll let them cut the air conditioning up to six consecutive hours a day.
Since they haven't had to use it, some customers say it's like free money.
We Energies said they are evaluating whether or not this program is still necessary. For the last several years, Energy Partners see that credit on their bill with no lost air conditioning.