With extremely hot temperatures outside over the last several weeks, the electric grid is under a great deal of stress. To combat this, NIPSCO is partnering up with customers to manage the load by utilizing the Air Conditioner Cycling Program.
The program works by using a remote-controlled switch on or near the outside unit of a home’s central AC unit, allowing the compressor to be cycled for short amounts of time during periods of high electric demand. This cuts down on the use of electricity while allowing the blower motor in the air handler to continue to circulate already-cooled air.
NIPSCO says most customers won’t notice much of a difference in the comfort level within the home, but the saved energy can reduce the overall stress on the electric system. It’s estimated that the AC Cycling Program cuts down on the electrical system’s demand by approximately one kilowatt per home, per event – the same amount of energy that would be saved by turning off ten 100-watt light bulbs.
“NIPSCO is always searching for opportunities to better manage power resources for our customers and communities,” said Karl Stanley, vice president of commercial operations for NIPSCO. He says the AC Cycling program reduces the load on the electrical distribution system, allowing it to run more efficiently and helping to reduce the need to import electricity.
NIPSCO is currently offer a $10-per-month credit on electric bills during June, July, August, and September each year a customer participates. There are currently 3700 NIPSCO customers enrolled in the program.