Discover why the utility company may be turning your AC off during peak usage.

We have had several air conditioning service calls this summer from customers requesting service because their air conditioner is not cooling the home properly. After arriving, to diagnose the problem, we  noticed they had an energy saving box, on their air conditioner, that was installed by the local utility company.

Meter Pictured (not energy saving box)

“Have you signed up for an air conditioning energy saving program with your utility company? Keep this in mind.

This box is designed to turn off the power to the air conditioner during peak times of electricity usage.


Here is how to see if you have an energy saving box..

  • Look outside on your meter.  (possibly near your air conditioner).
  • Look for a small box with two lights on it (one light is red).
  • This box allows the utility company control to cycle your air conditioner off and on during certain peak times of the day. Either keep on saving or call IPL to have it removed. (B&W technicians are unable to remove this device.)

Below is a brief description of IPL’s & Duke Energy’s program.

IPL’s program is called CoolCents, it’s a small device installed on the outside of your home near your central air conditioner. This device allows IPL to safely cycle your air conditioner on and off for brief periods during hours of peak electricity usage. Your air conditioner will typically not be cycled on weekends, holidays or after 6 p.m. on weekdays.  Air conditioners cycle, meaning they run for a certain amount of time “on,” and then shut “off.” This on-off cycling maintains the temperature at a certain level. The CoolCents® device, when active, will shorten the number of minutes your air conditioner is “on.” The fan on your air conditioner will continue to operate. In fact, you may not even be aware that your air conditioner is being cycled because your house should remain comfortably cool.

Duke Energy’s program is called Power Manager. Depending upon the option you choose, your air conditioner is cycled off and then back on approximately one time each half hour for the length of the cycling event. Cycling events normally last two to three and a half hours and will not occur on weekends or holidays (except in a system emergency). To help keep you comfortable, the indoor fan continues to run to circulate air throughout your home.

Both of these programs share the same goal in keeping electric costs low by reducing the demand for electricity and delaying the need to build additional power plants in our region. Both offer an incentive savings for participating.

Please visit the links below and/or call B&W for more information. We hope you find this article useful.


Cool Cents IPL:

Cool Cents Facts:

Perfect Cents Rebate Information:

Duke Energy Power Manager:

Duke Energy Power Manager Video: