Amid complaints, Met-Ed suspends EasyGreen program
Jun 22, 2012 (Reading Eagle - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Met-Ed said Thursday that it is temporarily suspending a program that gives customers the option of cutting back central air conditioning during peak electric-use hours.
The move comes after customers complained about the EasyGreen program and raised questions about its effectiveness. About 20,000 Met-Ed customers are enrolled in the program.
Several customers said they came home after a hot day Wednesday to find 80- and 90-degree temperatures inside their homes. Some said they tried to call EasyGreen's customer service number to be removed from the program but had trouble getting through.
They then called Met-Ed's customer service line but said they were told that they would need to speak with representatives from EasyGreen.
Other customers said they were able to contact EasyGreen on Wednesday to be taken off the program.
Met-Ed said that when the program is active, typically when there's heavy electric usage, it only affects participants' air conditioners. The program was active Wednesday from 1 to 8 p.m.
Met-Ed's announcement that it was suspending the program came on a day when the official high temperature at Reading Regional Airport was 95 degrees, well off the forecast high of a record-tying 99.
The forecast high for today is 91 degrees before clouds and thunderstorms roll in by early afternoon. Cooler conditions are expected for the weekend and most of next week.
Met-Ed spokesman Scott Surgeoner said the EasyGreen system will not be activated while Met-Ed investigates the concerns raised Wednesday.
He said customers will be notified before the program goes back into effect and will be told of any changes to it.
"We want to conduct a thorough review of what happened," Surgeoner said. "Hopefully, we'll be able to assess that and, if need be, we will make a tweak to the program."
Customers who enrolled in the program had boxes installed on their central air conditioning units that let the temperatures inside their homes fluctuate when EasyGreen is activated. The boxes were supposed to limit that fluctuation to either 6 or 9 degrees, according to the customers' choices, above the thermostat setting.
The program helps Met-Ed comply with federal regulations about electric use and participants are rewarded by rebates on their electric bills and a gift card.
Contact Liam Migdail-Smith: 610-371-5022 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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