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Opt-in program confuses some Rocky Mountain Power customers

By Randall Jeppesen | Posted - Jul 18th, 2013 @ 2:39pm



SALT LAKE CITY — As temperatures hit near 100 degrees, air conditioning repair workers are keeping busy.

However, some of the calls they get are from people who don't realize their air conditioners are being turned off as part of the Rocky Mountain Power Company's Cool Keeper program.

The program lets the company shut off air conditioner compressors enrolled in the program for a short amount of time which helps manage the power grid. But Josh Lundevall with Lee's heating and air says occasionally they get calls from people who don't want their air off at all.

"If they're unaware completely of what they have, we'll go out to the home and we'll see the cool keeper on there, educate them and let them know what it is and how it works," he said.

However, the power company said they've only used the program three times this summer: July 1, 2 and 9. Air conditioning has been turned off for about four hours total.

"We don't completely shut off participants air conditioners during that time," said Jeff Hymas with Rocky Mountain Power. "We remotely turn off the compressor of the AC units that have the device for the first 15 minutes but the fan continues to operate and circulate air."

While air still circulates, the air isn't as cold. It's not cooling the air, but the AC unit continues to blow air throughout the space.

People who take part in the program get a $20 credit once a year on their power bill. About 100,000 people along the Wasatch Front participate in the program, and the company expects that number to keep growing.

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