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Archive for Monday, July 9, 2012

Westar seeking volunteers for pilot project that encourages off-peak electric usage

July 9, 2012, 2:34 p.m. Updated July 9, 2012, 4:53 p.m.

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— Westar Energy is seeking 1,000 customers to participate in a pilot project that utility officials said could provide savings on electric bills.

The voluntary program provides what are called Time of Use rates to encourage customers to shift their electric usage to off-peak periods when demand is lower.

“This gives an opportunity for customers who think they can do this, to get on board, maybe save some money in the process, and it helps us manage the total load on the system,” said Hal Jensen, director of customer service and programs at Westar.

In the summer, peak energy usage times during weekdays are from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. Under the Time of Use pilot program, the cost for energy during that period would be approximately 13.5 cents per kilowatt hour, while using energy during off-peak times would be approximately 5.5 cents per kilowatt hour.

In winter, the peak energy usage is from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Under the Time of Use program, energy costs at that time would be nearly 8 cents per kilowatt hour while energy used during the off-peak period would cost nearly 5 cents per kilowatt hour.

Jensen said a household that could shift discretionary usage, such as doing laundry, to off-peak periods would benefit from the program.

Westar officials said Lawrence customers are in a good position to take advantage of the program because they already have access to their personal, detailed energy usage information through Westar’s deployment of “smart” meters throughout the city.

To sign up for the Time of Use pilot program, call Westar’s customer service center at 1-855-StarOne (1-855-782-7663).

The program is a three-year pilot that is restricted to 1,000 people per year. Westar will accept applications on a first-come, first-served basis.

David Springe, consumer counsel for the Citizens’ Utility Ratepayer Board, said the results of the pilot program should be interesting.

However, he added, “But ask yourself, who is going to sign up? People who are pretty motivated to start with and are not extremely dependent on mid-day power. I’m not sure the results will tell us anything on a broader scale,” Springe said.

He pointed to a program in Chicago that showed only a small percentage of participants changed their behavior.

Comments

matahari 1 year, 9 months ago

Just got off the phone from Westar (very informative and helpful) 2.7 pkh would be saved, if approved for program, but my highest usage is beteen noon and 6 PM, altho, the saving would be much less in winter. I am going to the dashboard, and perusing the westar site, and paying more attention to my details on bills etc

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Centerville 1 year, 9 months ago

"I'm just irritated that my latest bill suddenly skyrocketed $20 since last month, and my usage hasn't changed other than the AC (can you really blame me for that?). They shouldn't be able to do that just because the temperatures are insanely high!"

So, you think you shouldn't have to pay for the electricity that runs your air conditioner?

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Jayhawk1958 1 year, 9 months ago

PR stunt to deflect from their continual rate hikes. Another example of "social responsibility" I guess.

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Alceste 1 year, 9 months ago

....but the rate per KWH is no different, chucklehead......

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Sherry Warren 1 year, 9 months ago

Does anybody remember the "Wait til 8" campaign from the '70's? It was a TV ad campaign that encouraged people to do things like laundry and run the dishwasher between 8 pm and 8 am when demand was lower. I still follow this, and it is easier now with things like built-in timers on appliances.

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Alceste 1 year, 9 months ago

The program is one big joke. Most of the bill from WESTAR is NOT in usage.....it's in "fees". Look at the bill and you'll see what Alceste is referring to......

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bobberboy 1 year, 9 months ago

westar people are the biggest crooks out there and a perfect example of a company that rips us all off as much as they can. I would'nt trust them !!

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bobberboy 1 year, 9 months ago

what do you mean electric rates are higher during certain times of the day ? what a bunch of bull !! Before you know it they'll be charging whatever they damn well please whenever they want !!! We need to nationalize electric service so it can be run as a non-profit business !!!!!!!!

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kuguardgrl13 1 year, 9 months ago

I'm just irritated that my latest bill suddenly skyrocketed $20 since last month, and my usage hasn't changed other than the AC (can you really blame me for that?). They shouldn't be able to do that just because the temperatures are insanely high!

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traveler12 1 year, 9 months ago

I'm tired of hearing Westar complain about how much power Kansans use. I'm tired of hearing about their stupid WattSaver program. I'm tired of hearing them threaten to raise rates. I'm tired of them telling me that if I have a problem with them, I can talk to the Kansas Corporation Commission. I'm tired of the stupid flyers they send out telling me how I can use less energy. I'm tired of them trying to GET people to use less energy. I'm tired of the rate hikes. I'm tired of their bullying when it comes to collecting overdue bills. I'm tired of hearing about Westar's corrupt corporate officers. Finally, I'm tired of them complaining about Kansas' energy needs overall and can WE change our lives to reduce the need. They don't want to build new power plants or upgrade existing ones... not my problem. This is 2012. Either supply the power that Kansans need, or sell your utility to a bigger company that will.

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Patricia Davis 1 year, 9 months ago

I think they should start with forcing Westar board of directors, CEO and other executives, stockholders and our elected state and local government officials to volunteer and pave the way.

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consumer1 1 year, 9 months ago

I turn my AC up to 80 during my at work hours and then slowly bring it back to a temperature I can get a full night sleep on. I have been doing this for years and my bill reflect it very well. Although I wouldn't agree to let Westar control my AC any more than they already do. And. Let me say this about their repair plan, if you liked to have it put to you without a kiss, then this is your plan.

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paul85 1 year, 9 months ago

"The voluntary program provides what are called Time of Use rates to encourage customers to shift their electric usage to off-peak periods when demand and prices are lower."

Pardon my ignorance, but why are prices cheaper before 1 pm and after 8 pm? Does it take less fuel to create the energy in off peak hours? What contributing factors make the energy cheaper at those times as opposed to the middle of the day? The infrastructure is already there, the costs should be the same no matter when you use the energy....

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