07/24/12 When the dog days of summer put added stress on the electric grid, NIPSCO joins forces with customers to manage the load by utilizing the Air Conditioner (AC) Cycling Program.

AC Cycling works through the installation of a remote-controlled switch on or near the outside unit of a home’s central air conditioning unit.  During periods of high electric demand, the compressor can be cycled for short periods of time, while the blower motor in the air handler continues to circulate already cooled air.

For most, the impact on comfort level within the home should be minimal, and the saved energy can be used to reduce the stress on the overall electric system. The Air Conditioner Cycling Program is estimated to reduce the demand on the electrical system by approximately one kilowatt per home, per event, the equivalent of 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.  “The AC Cycling Program reduces pressures on our electrical distribution system, allowing it to run more efficiently and helps us reduce the need to import electricity.”

To encourage customers to enroll, NIPSCO awards a $10-per-month credit on electric bills during June, July, August and September each year a customer participates.

Currently, 3,700 NIPSCO electric customers are enrolled in the program.

As an additional strategy to increase program participation and support local non-profits, NIPSCO has established a Community Enrichment Program that affords organizations the opportunity to earn $25 for each member or supporter who enrolls in AC Cycling.

“There are multitudes of worthy organizations that serve our communities and are always searching for ways to support their missions,” said Stanley.  “By offering these non-profits $25 for each enrollment, they earn needed dollars and we all benefit through the impact of expanded energy efficiency.”

More information about the AC Cycling Program is available by calling (888) 446-8403 or visiting NIPSCO.com/ACCycling.

Interested non-profits can enroll in the Community Enrichment Program by contacting Lisa Sargent at Lisa.sargent@goodcents.com.