October 16, 2012

Cool Customers

{Disclaimer: This post is very delayed, but better late than never!}

This summer, Shep and I officially became "Cool Customers".  How, you ask?  Let me tell you!...


Our electricity provider, PSE&G, has a program called the Cool Customer Program.  The gist of it is that customers who enroll get a new fancy shmancy programmable thermostat installed free of charge AND a $50 statement credit.  Once you're enrolled, PSE&G has the ability to cycle your air conditioning compressor in order to minimize the impact of high energy demand on the electric system.  This is especially important to them in summer when temperatures soar and ACs roar, because the cycling ability allows them the opportunity to avoid blackouts.

Shep wanted to join the program for the free thermostat (he's been wanting to buy a new one since we moved in!); I liked the idea of $50 worth of free electricity (to help counteract my darling hubby's hobby of turning on, and leaving on, every light in the apartment).  But, the program seemed a little "big brother"ish to me.  I like being in control of my own home's temperature, thank you very much!  Plus, we didn't really need new thermostats; we already had programmable ones!  Shep's curiosity took charge so he called PSE&G and spoke with a service rep, who explained that it would be a rare occurrence (and pretty dire circumstance) for them to actually exercise their ability to cycle the system.  That put Shep at ease, but I still wasn't buying it.  So, I asked around at work and did a few minutes of online research to perform a quick cost/benefit analysis.  Before signing up, I wanted to ensure the pros of the program outweighed any potential cons.  Lucky for me, a couple of colleagues of mine had joined the program the previous year and confirmed that PSE&G had never to date adjusted their AC cycles.  This made me a lot more comfortable, so we took the plunge.  Well, to our delight we received TWO free programmable thermostats (which were installed very quickly and painlessly by a PSE&G representative) and a $100 statement credit, because we have 2 HVAC units in our condo.  Woohoo!  Double the benefits and no additional risk... that's my kind of offer!  ;)  Oh, and as expected, we didn't experience any compressor cycling at all throughout the summer.

In summary, I'd definitely recommend the program to anyone out there considering it!  As far as we can see, there's nothing to lose by trying it out!

Do any readers out there have any experience with a "Cool Customer" program?  I'm curious to hear about other power companies out there that have similar programs, so do share!

{I was not asked or encouraged by PSE&G to write this post; the views are my own and I'm voluntarily sharing them.}


  1. This is obviously "spin".

    1. Hi there, thanks for reading! Not sure what you mean by "spin" but I just wanted to point out (as I noted in my disclaimer above too) that I wasn't asked, encouraged, paid, perk'd in any way for writing this post. I didn't receive *any* benefits whatsoever... I just love saving money and love sharing money-saving tips with friends and family! :)

  2. I just scheduled my appointment tomorrow and the customer rep said if i don't want to participate, i can cancel anytime and return the 50$ credit but keep the thermostat... i don't see how some people on other blogs have complained it is too big brother. I like the fact of being able to track energy consumption. Plus, it has only cycled twice this summer on July 16 and 17th (NJ here) and it only cycles between 1 and 7 pm on weekdays when I'm at work.

    1. Thanks for reading and commenting! I completely agree with you... very little to lose and only free thermostats and invoice deductions to gain! Good luck with the install... I hope you like your shiny new thermostat! :)