FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Atlantic City Electric Energy Wise Rewards Program Questions
About Your Thermostat Installation
About Your Outdoor Switch Installation
Replaced Equipment and Peak Savers

ATLANTIC CITY ELECTRIC ENERGY WISE REWARDS PROGRAM QUESTIONS

Why Energy Wise Rewards? Why now?
How does Energy Wise Rewards work?
What is “cycling”?
What choices are available to me when I join Energy Wise Rewards?
How will I receive my $50 sign-up installation bill credit?
Are there any hidden costs or fees with this program?
How often will the program be activated?
When and for how long will a conservation period last?
What causes “times of peak electricity demand”?
Will Energy Wise Rewards affect my comfort level?
How will I know when an Energy Wise Rewards conservation period is occurring?
Can an emergency event (otherwise known as “Priority Peak Day”) occur outside of the months of the cooling season?
Am I permitted to “opt out” of a conservation period?
Are there penalties for withdrawing from Energy Wise Rewards?
How does Energy Wise Rewards benefit my community?
How does Energy Wise Rewards keep energy rates low?
How does Energy Wise Rewards help the environment?

WHY ENERGY WISE REWARDS? WHY NOW?

As the Atlantic City Electric region continues to grow, and as more and more residents acquire large refrigerators, freezers, central air conditioners and other energy-hungry appliances, the demand for energy increases, straining existing supply. Energy Wise Rewards offers leading-edge technology to residents and businesses as part of a voluntary program designed to manage energy during periods of highest demand, reduce the need to build costly power plants, and avert unanticipated energy shortages and power interruptions before they occur.

Back to Top       Back to Section Top

HOW DOES ENERGY WISE REWARDS WORK?

When you enroll, we’ll connect an indoor Energy Wise Rewards web-programmable thermostat or an outdoor switch to your central air conditioning unit. On selected days from June through October (Peak Savings Days), we’ll automatically cycle participating air conditioners to help balance the region’s demand for electricity. These events are known as Energy Wise Rewards “conservation periods”. The more participants there are in the program, the greater the likelihood of reduced duration for any single conservation period. Energy Wise Rewards works best when it is truly a community-wide effort.

Back to Top       Back to Section Top

WHAT IS “CYCLING”?

When energy demand is approaching a critical point, your device will receive a radio signal that will put your A/C compressor into a “conservation mode”. That means, your compressor will operate half the time it did during the hour prior to the conservation period. The fan will continue to circulate air even though the compressor has reduced operating time.

Back to Top       Back to Section Top

WHAT CHOICES ARE AVAILABLE TO ME WHEN I JOIN ENERGY WISE REWARDS?

When you enroll in Energy Wise Rewards, you’ll be invited to select the device we will install for your participation. Choose either an indoor installation of a web-programmable thermostat or an outdoor switch.

Back to Top       Back to Section Top

HOW WILL I RECEIVE MY $50 SIGN-UP INSTALLATION BILL CREDIT?

You will receive your $50 installation credit in full for each device installed as a bill reduction within two billing cycles of the installation of your Energy Wise Rewards device(s).

Back to Top       Back to Section Top

ARE THERE ANY HIDDEN COSTS OR FEES WITH THIS PROGRAM?

No. Participation is totally voluntary and you do not pay to participate.

Back to Top       Back to Section Top

HOW OFTEN WILL THE PROGRAM BE ACTIVATED?

The number of conservation periods depend on many factors, including weather, peak electricity demand, and wholesale energy costs. Energy Wise Rewards is only activated during times of high electricity demand, emergency conditions, or system testing. As such, there may be as few as one or two Peak Savings Days or as many as a dozen. In a typical year, one can expect 5 or less events.

Back to Top       Back to Section Top

WHEN AND FOR HOW LONG WILL A CONSERVATION PERIOD LAST?

Conservation periods typically occur on hot weekday afternoons and can last anywhere from 3 to 6 hours.

Keep in mind that the duration of conservation periods could be reduced as the number of Energy Wise Rewards participants increase. This requires a community-wide effort, so spread the word and share the load.

Back to Top       Back to Section Top

WHAT CAUSES “TIMES OF PEAK ELECTRICITY DEMAND”?

Times of peak electricity demand occur when everyone uses a lot of electricity at the same time, creating stresses on a limited energy supply. The frequency of critical peak demand periods has increased as the population and the use of electric appliances has grown, and both have grown tremendously in New Jersey over the past 30 years. Energy Wise Rewards is just one way Atlantic City Electric is managing the rising demand for electricity, to prevent power outages while keeping electricity rates low, deferring the construction of high cost power plants, and helping the environment by reducing emissions produced on hot, humid days.

Back to Top       Back to Section Top

WILL ENERGY WISE REWARDS AFFECT MY COMFORT LEVEL?

A sizeable majority of participants in similar programs throughout the country report no noticeable difference in comfort level at the cycling level being used by this program. During the course of a conservation period, the temperature in a typical home may rise 1-3 degrees. Variables such as home insulation, shaded windows, the addition of ceiling fans, and the amount of home foot traffic are some of the things that can also affect the temperature.

Back to Top       Back to Section Top

HOW WILL I KNOW WHEN AN ENERGY WISE REWARDS CONSERVATION PERIOD IS OCCURRING?

Check your programmable thermostat. When a conservation period occurs, the LED will glow red and the display will read “SAVE” for the duration of the period. If you have an outdoor switch, you will need to go outside to inspect the device. A red LED will appear in the window of the outdoor switch throughout the conservation period.

Back to Top       Back to Section Top

CAN AN EMERGENCY EVENT (OTHERWISE KNOWN AS “PRIORITY PEAK DAY”) OCCUR OUTSIDE OF THE MONTHS OF THE COOLING SEASON?

Yes. This could occur, and in that event you would be required to participate per the program rules and the customer agreement.

Back to Top       Back to Section Top

AM I PERMITTED TO “OPT OUT” OF A CONSERVATION PERIOD?

All customers are permitted two (2) opt outs from non-PJM events during the cooling season. Participants who wish to opt out will need to call our Energy Wise Rewards Service Center at 1-866-355-4229.

Back to Top       Back to Section Top

ARE THERE PENALTIES FOR WITHDRAWING FROM ENERGY WISE REWARDS?

Participants must remain in the program for 12 months after installation or a portion of their initial installation credit will be reversed. At this time, Atlantic City Electric does not plan to remove the programmable thermostat or outdoor switch in the event of withdrawal. If you are interested in leaving Energy Wise Rewards, please call us at 1-866-355-4229.

Back to Top       Back to Section Top

HOW DOES ENERGY WISE REWARDS BENEFIT MY COMMUNITY?

Atlantic City Electric customers use more electricity during the summer season than at other times of the year. As the area grows and more new and existing customers install central air conditioners, demand for electricity reaches higher and higher peaks in the summer, putting a strain on the power system. Participating in Energy Wise Rewards helps avoid paying for the construction of new power plants built primarily to operate only during times of very high electricity demand for a handful of hours per year.

Back to Top       Back to Section Top

HOW DOES ENERGY WISE REWARDS KEEP ENERGY RATES LOW?

Demand for electricity in our area is rapidly rising. During the “peak demand” times of summer, Energy Wise Rewards works to reduce electricity usage by “cycling” central air conditioners throughout the region, averting power outages. This reduces the need to build costly, new electrical infrastructure that can drive up rates, and reduces the amount of fossil fuel bought and burned to generate power to satisfy demand.

Back to Top       Back to Section Top

HOW DOES ENERGY WISE REWARDS HELP THE ENVIRONMENT?

Reducing the use of fossil fuels reduces greenhouse gas emissions. By reducing electricity demand during a conservation period, Energy Wise Rewards also reduces emissions by averting the need for production of additional electricity. When load is highest and supplies are strained, the least efficient power plants must be brought into operation to meet demand or outages become likely. Lower efficiency electricity production also generally equates with higher emissions. The Energy Wise Rewards approach reduces the urgency in building additional power lines and power stations, thereby preserving our natural environment.

Back to Top       Back to Section Top

ABOUT YOUR THERMOSTAT INSTALLATION

What is a web-programmable thermostat?
If my thermostat is Internet accessible, how do I know a hacker or Atlantic City Electric won’t change the settings on me?
Why would I want Internet access?
Do I need to be home when the programmable thermostat is installed?
How long will the installation take?
When will the thermostat be installed?
Do I have to sign anything?
What if there’s a problem?
How can my programmable thermostat save 15% annually on my cooling and heating costs?
I am on the Atlantic City Electric system as having a medical condition. Am I able to participate?

WHAT IS A WEB-PROGRAMMABLE THERMOSTAT?

An Energy Wise Rewards web-programmable thermostat is a digital thermostat that allows you to adjust the temperature settings of your home according to a preset schedule that you choose. This can be done either manually or through an Internet connection. This differs from other programmable thermostats you can buy and install, in that it allows you to remotely adjust your home temperature settings from any computer virtually anywhere in the world.

During times of peak electricity demand, your Energy Wise Rewards web-programmable thermostat will receive a radio signal to initiate a conservation period. The radio signal operates on a unique frequency and will not interfere with any other wireless devices in your home.

Back to Top       Back to Section Top

IF MY THERMOSTAT IS INTERNET ACCESSIBLE, HOW DO I KNOW A HACKER OR ATLANTIC CITY ELECTRIC WON’T CHANGE THE SETTINGS ON ME?

Internet access to your Energy Wise Rewards thermostat is through a webpage, with a secure password you select and only you know.  All Atlantic City Electric can do with your password is reset it if you forget it and verify you are the customer on the account.  You are the only one with control over this feature, and access is shielded behind security measures designed to protect the confidential customer information of all two million of our customers.

Back to Top       Back to Section Top

WHY WOULD I WANT INTERNET ACCESS?

Once you access the Internet web page, you can change your thermostat settings no matter where you are, at any time of day.  This feature may be particularly useful if you suddenly find you are going to be away for an extended period and want to change your settings, or you are going to return earlier than planned.

Back to Top       Back to Section Top

DO I NEED TO BE HOME WHEN THE PROGRAMMABLE THERMOSTAT IS INSTALLED?

Yes. Our technicians will custom install the thermostat inside your home. You must first call to schedule an appointment, then be available to allow our technician entry to your home and to sign the service order guaranteeing your satisfaction with his work.

Back to Top       Back to Section Top

HOW LONG WILL THE INSTALLATION TAKE?

Installation of the new thermostat and removal of your old thermostat will take approximately an hour. However, our technician will spend as much time as needed, helping you program your new thermostat, and answering any questions you may have about its operation or the Energy Wise Rewards program.

Back to Top       Back to Section Top

WHEN WILL THE THERMOSTAT BE INSTALLED?

Generally, installation takes place within one month of your enrollment, though you can schedule an installation any time that is most convenient for you, including Saturdays.

Back to Top       Back to Section Top

DO I HAVE TO SIGN ANYTHING?

Prior to installation, our technician will ask you to sign a service order authorizing the installation of your new equipment and guaranteeing your satisfaction with his work.

Back to Top       Back to Section Top

WHAT IF THERE’S A PROBLEM?

If you have a question about your installation or about the program, just call us toll-free at 1-866-355-4229, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. for prompt customer service and technical assistance. If you need to report an emergency, you can reach us 24 hours a day/7 days a week at 1-866-355-4229.

Back to Top       Back to Section Top

HOW CAN MY PROGRAMMABLE THERMOSTAT SAVE 10% ANNUALLY ON MY COOLING AND HEATING COSTS?

The energy saving benefits of programmable thermostats have been explored by the U.S. Department of Energy. According to the DOE, depending on usage patterns and how effectively you program the thermostat, it is possible to save as much as 10% on home cooling and heating costs, assuming winter set backs and summer set forwards when the home is empty.

Back to Top       Back to Section Top

I AM ON THE ATLANTIC CITY ELECTRIC SYSTEM AS HAVING A MEDICAL CONDITION. AM I ABLE TO PARTICIPATE?

Yes, only you can decide what’s appropriate for you. However, we want to make sure you are aware that the temperature inside the house will increase during a conservation period, and you should take that into consideration before enrolling.

Back to Top       Back to Section Top

ABOUT YOUR OUTDOOR SWITCH INSTALLATION

What is an outdoor switch?
Do I need to be available when the outdoor switch is installed?

WHAT IS AN OUTDOOR SWITCH?

An outdoor switch is a device that is connected near your exterior air conditioning unit. It receives a radio signal from Atlantic City Electric to turn off your air conditioning compressor (not the whole A/C system), for a period each half hour during selected summer afternoons. This helps manage system-wide electricity demand during times of peak usage.

Back to Top       Back to Section Top

DO I NEED TO BE AVAILABLE WHEN THE OUTDOOR SWITCH IS INSTALLED?

The outdoor switch will be installed near your outside air conditioning unit, so it is not necessary for you to be available at that time as long as the technician can get to the unit without interference from such obstacles as a locked fence or a dog. Just be sure your outdoor air conditioning unit and electrical safety box are accessible to our technicians.

Back to Top       Back to Section Top

REPLACED EQUIPMENT AND PEAK SAVERS

What happens with the equipment that is removed?
I am a participant in the Peak Savers Program. Can I just re-use my current equipment?
Can I continue to participate in the Peak Savers program for my Water Heater? 
When will the Peak Savers program end?

WHAT HAPPENS WITH THE EQUIPMENT THAT IS REMOVED?

If you currently have a thermostat that we remove, we will leave it with you, in the event you find you are unhappy with the new thermostat and later wish to switch back. Because your old thermostat may contain liquid mercury, we will leave directions with you for proper disposal should you later choose to discard it.

If you currently have an Air Conditioning load control device from any prior plan (e.g., Peak Savers®), we will remove it, and recycle and dispose of unusable components.

Back to Top       Back to Section Top

I AM A PARTICIPANT IN THE PEAK SAVERS PROGRAM. CAN I JUST RE-USE MY CURRENT EQUIPMENT?

While this program is similar to the Peak Savers program, your current equipment is not compatible with the newer technology. Therefore, it can not be used. For this program, we will need to install a new indoor programmable thermostat or an outside switch. Your older device will be removed, recycled, and unusable components will be disposed of.

Back to Top       Back to Section Top

CAN I CONTINUE TO PARTICIPATE IN THE PEAK SAVERS PROGRAM FOR MY WATER HEATER?

The program rules for this program require that this is the only program you can participate in. While Atlantic City Electric does not plan to remove the Water Heating Peak Savers equipment, it will no longer send signals to it during a curtailment event.

Back to Top       Back to Section Top

WHEN WILL THE PEAK SAVERS PROGRAM END?

The Peak Savers program is scheduled to end by early 2014.

Back to Top       Back to Section Top

LEARN MORE:

The Atlantic City Electric Energy Wise Rewards Program
How the Program Works
Your Participation Options