Demand Conservation FAQ
What is a Demand Conservation switch?
The Demand Conservation switch is a small radio receiver mounted near your central outdoor air conditioning unit. Once installed, it is used briefly to interrupt your air conditioner's cycles on "peak" summer days to save electricity. We don't control the switch very often or for very long. In fact, we have a maximum number of days we are allowed to use the switches. Plus, customers participating in the program report that they feel little or no difference in their home's temperature on the days we control. In short, Demand Conservation helps preserve the environment and keep down the costs of generating electricity on peak demand days. Plus, you receive a credit on your electric bills during the summer months (June, July, August and September).
Who will install my Demand Conservation switch?
Our business partner, Comverge, installs our switches at no cost to you. Comverge specializes in the installation of these demand-saving devices and maintains all of the necessary licenses, permits and insurance. They have a proven track record of providing high-quality installations and superior customer service.
How do I sign up to get my Demand Conservation switch?
You can sign up online or by calling us toll-free at 1-800-356-5467. Renters need prior Landlord/Property Owner consent for participation and bonus or monthly credits may vary and could be split per landlord/tenant agreement.
When will I receive my first credit on my energy bill if I select the switch option?
The first June, July, August or September bill you receive after the switch is installed will include the monthly credit of up to $5. Please allow several days after the installation for us to process your paperwork.
How will my Demand Conservation switch work?
During periods of peak energy use in the summer months, a radio signal is sent to your switch to activate it. This signal will interrupt the flow of electricity to the compressor on your air conditioner or heat pump for a few minutes each half-hour. This reduces the peak demand for energy, helping to keep down the cost of electricity. Your fan will continue to run if your thermostat calls for cooling, circulating the cool air already inside your home and keeping you comfortable.
Does that mean my home will get hot?
You should notice little, if any, difference in your home's indoor air temperature. Our experience has been that customers see little difference in overall comfort level. Programs similar to this have been implemented by other large electric utilities since the early 1980s, and customers rarely, if ever, notice any difference in their indoor air temperature.
What should I do if I get hot?
The temperature in your home should not significantly change during a Demand Conservation event. So, if your home gets warm, first check the program website to see if we are having a cycling event by checking our Program Facts. During an event, the inside temperature should only change a few degrees. When the event is complete it does may take a while for your home's internal temperature to go back to the target temperature. The recovery time really depends upon the age of your HVAC system, the size of your home, and many other factors.
If your home feels warmer than usual, then there are a couple of things you can do to check to make sure your A/C is working properly:
How do I know if my A/C is running properly?
When the outdoor temperature reaches 95 degrees, a correctly designed air conditioner should be able to keep the temperature at the thermostat about 72 degrees indoors. As the temperature goes above 95 degrees outdoors, the temperature at home should increase about 1.5 degrees for every degree the outdoor temperature goes above 95. When the outdoor temperature reaches 100 degrees, the air conditioner should run non-stop and maintain an indoor temperature at or below 80 degrees. If the house stays at 72 degrees indoors, when it is 100 degrees outdoors, the air conditioner is most likely oversized. Great for when it is 100 degrees, but creates high indoor humidity conditions the remainder of the year. The one exception is for households with two-stage air conditioners. A properly sized air conditioner should run constantly when it is at or above 95 degrees outdoors. [Source: Aire Serv LLC, Ask-the-expert, HVAC Tips and Tricks]
How often will my switch be activated?
We will call for activation only on summer days when demand for electricity reaches a peak. Typically, this will occur for a few hours no more than 20 days all summer during the late afternoon and early evening. We will not activate your switch on weekends or holidays unless there is an extreme system emergency.
How long will it take after I sign up to install my switch?
Generally, your switch will be installed within three to four weeks. This can vary depending on the time of year and the number of customers who have signed up for the program.
Do I need to be home for installation?
In most cases, you do not need to be home for an A/C installation. Installation scheduling is required for electric water heaters and pool pumps but is not required otherwise unless barriers (dogs, locked gates, etc.) block our access to your A/C. We will leave a packet of information for you when we install the device.
How do I know if my switch is activated or is working properly?
A red or yellow light will show in the window on front of your switch when it has been activated. This light will stay on during the few minutes that electricity is being interrupted to the compressor. When the light goes out, electricity has been restored to the compressor, and cooling will continue. This process will repeat every thirty minutes during the period the switch is activated. If you see a green light on, off or momentarily flashing, it means the switch is testing itself. Please don't hesitate to contact us at 1-800-356-5467 anytime you have a question about your switch.
What if my heating and air conditioning service technician recommends I have my switch disconnected?
While we have attempted to educate heating and air conditioning contractors about the Demand Conservation program, on occasion, they may recommend your switch be removed or disconnected. Please have your service technicians call us at 1-800-356-5467 before allowing them to proceed with disconnection or removal. We have worked with the equipment manufacturers during the design of this device and program, so you can be assured your switch will not damage your air conditioner or heat pump in any way and will not affect your equipment's warranty.
Exactly how does my switch cut power off to my air conditioner compressor?
The switch is connected to the low voltage wire that goes from your thermostat to your air conditioner's compressor. The switch turns off the compressor just as if you had manually adjusted your thermostat to turn the air conditioner off for a few minutes. It's that simple. Your switch is also a radio that receives the control signal from us.
My switch has a label that says there will be a 3- to 7-minute delay after a power interruption. What does this mean?
This is one of the safety features. After a power interruption (outage) to the air conditioning unit or heat pump, the compressor is not allowed to operate for three to seven minutes to prevent short cycling, which could damage the compressor.
I'm having a new air conditioner or heat pump installed in my house. What should I do?
Call 1-800-356-5467 to let us know. We will arrange to have your switch installed on your new air conditioner or heat pump.
What if I have more than one central air conditioning unit at my home or business?
You will receive up to a $5 credit per summer month for each central air conditioner or heat pump you have at your home or business.
Does the Demand Conservation switch work on other appliances?
Yes, it does. If you have an electric water heater or pool pump, we will install a Demand Conservation device and pay you up to a $2 credit per month (June - September) per device. If you are interested in adding your water heater or pool pump to the program, you can sign up online or by calling 1-800-356-5467.
I'm moving to a new house. What should I do?
Call us at 1-800-356-5467. We can arrange for a switch to be installed on the unit at your new house.
How do I sign up a neighbor or friend for the Demand Conservation program?
Have your friend, relative or neighbor call 1-800-356-5467 to sign up or sign up online. For any other questions or comments, call us at 1-800-356-5467.
What if I have a thermostat that was installed by LG&E or KU as part of the Demand Conservation Program?
The LG&E and KU thermostat programs are no longer active. Please see below for steps that you can take if you are having issues with the thermostat based on the type of thermostat that you have.
The Honeywell brand thermostat is no longer supported by LG&E and KU. If you are having issues with your thermostat, please contact the manufacturer, Honeywell, and they will assist answering your questions. Honeywell can be reached toll-free at 1-800-468-1502.