Westar Energy

Westar Energy WattSaver Program FAQ



Frequently Asked Questions


WATTSAVER OVERVIEW
How does the WattSaver program work?
How much will I have to pay to join the WattSaver program?
How do I benefit from the WattSaver program?
WattSaver program's terms and conditions


QUALIFYING FOR THE WATTSAVER PROGRAM
Who is eligible to enroll in WattSaver?
How do I know if I qualify?
How much wall space will I need for the new thermostat?



ENERGY SAVINGS AND THE ENVIRONMENT
How does this program help the environment?
Will my participation in this program really make a difference?
Can I save money using the WattSaver program?
What will Westar Energy do with my existing thermostat?
What rate relief will I receive?
Is there a rebate if I participate?



CYCLING THE WATTSAVER THERMOSTAT
Will Westar Energy change my heating or cooling settings?
Do I have to adjust my thermostat or change other settings to participate in the program?
Will I be able to change my thermostat settings during a cycling event?
How will I know if a cycling event is planned for today?
How do I know that Westar Energy has sent a signal to my thermostat?
Will the temperature in my home or business change during a cycling event?
Do I have to participate in every cycling event?



WATTSAVER AND YOUR AIR CONDITIONER
Will cycling events harm my air conditioner?
My cooling unit needs to be serviced, repaired or tested. What do I need to do to temporarily disable the WattSaver from the power saving schedule?
How long do I have to participate in the program?



MOVE IN/MOVE OUT
What should I do with the WattSaver thermostat when I move out of the property?
Can I have a WattSaver thermostat installed at my new address if there's not one there already?
Do I need to re-enroll if I am already a participant and move to a location that already has a WattSaver thermostat?
If I am currently participating and move to a new location that already has a WattSaver thermostat, will I be able to access the online programming system with my current information?



TROUBLESHOOTING
If my thermostat stops working, who should I call for assistance?
What will happen during a cycling event if I manually adjust my thermostat?
Is the thermostat programmed to recognize daylight-saving time?
If I temporarily lose power to my home or business, will the thermostat clock need resetting?
Can I still adjust my thermostat remotely if I no longer have Internet access to my home or business?
What do I do if my thermostat is not adhering to the programmed schedule?
My thermostat display is flashing and is displaying a message to call a number?
How will Westar know what my thermostat settings are?
The temperature setting online doesn't match what is on my thermostat. Is it broken?






WATTSAVER OVERVIEW


How does the WattSaver program work?
Demands on Westar Energy's power delivery system are the highest from June through September when many customers are using their air conditioners. At these times, we may cycle participants' central air conditioners or heat pumps in a coordinated effort to reduce energy demand. During that time your thermostat will display "SAVING," your compressor will operate about 50% of its normal run time (e.g., on for 15 minutes, off for 15 minutes), and the system fan will continue to circulate air throughout your home or business. These cycling events will normally last about four hours or less, and will occur between noon and 8 p.m.. Cycling events will occur infrequently and only on weekdays - never on weekends or holidays.


You have complete control over how your thermostat is programmed, except during cycling events. Westar Energy cannot change your thermostat settings and will only cycle your air conditioner or heat pump when absolutely necessary. During a cycling event, you will not be able to change your thermostat settings. If you decide to no longer participate in the WattSaver program, we will reinstall your original thermostat at no cost to you.


You will also be able to program your thermostat through any computer connected to the Internet. This programming feature offers you additional convenience and flexibility. For example, if you're on vacation and forgot to adjust your thermostat before you left the house, just access the Internet through any computer at your convenience to change your settings.


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How much will I have to pay to join the WattSaver program?

There is no fee to join WattSaver, and you could save money! Because the WattSaver thermostat is both programmable and more accurate than older, conventional thermostats, you could save on your annual heating and cooling costs.


Continuous Improvement

Westar Energy will occasionally upgrade the thermostat and online energy management system, and most upgrades will be transparent to customers. Installation charges are covered by Westar for the first thermostat. If a customer wishes to have an upgraded version of the thermostat installed, the customer would be responsible for subsequent installation costs.


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How do I benefit from the WattSaver program?
You will receive a free, professionally installed programmable thermostat for your home or business, 24-hour customer service, and the ability to program your thermostat through any computer connected to the Internet. Plus, you may save up to 20% on your heating and cooling costs.


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QUALIFYING FOR THE WATTSAVER PROGRAM


Who is eligible to enroll in WattSaver?
WattSaver is open to Westar Energy residential as well as small and medium business customers who have single zone central air conditioning systems. If you rent or lease the property, you must have the property owner's permission to participate. Customers with life support equipment in the home are not eligible to participate.


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How do I know if I qualify?
You must have a central air conditioner or a heat pump in good operating condition. The Honeywell programmable thermostat works with most conventional systems. Prior to installation, our installer will verify whether your system is compatible with the WattSaver thermostat and will conduct a 12-point inspection of your heating and cooling equipment to verify that you qualify. Households that use window or wall units for their air conditioning needs are not eligible for the WattSaver program. If you rent or lease the property, you must have the property owner's permission to participate.


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How much wall space will I need for the new thermostat?
The WattSaver thermostat will be installed where your current thermostat is located and will require a wall space six inches high by seven inches wide.


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ENERGY SAVINGS AND THE ENVIRONMENT


How does this program help the environment?
By reducing your energy consumption, you reduce the amount of emissions released in the atmosphere. Reducing the demand for electricity assists Westar Energy in making the most efficient use of its current power plants while giving us time to explore future sources of generation.


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Will my participation in this program really make a difference?
Yes, by joining WattSaver, you become part of the solution to help balance the increasing demand with the supply of electricity in Kansas. The more participants in the program, the more we can significantly reduce the demand for electricity on the hottest days from June through September. Reducing this demand helps keep electricity costs affordable for all of us and promotes a cleaner environment through reduced energy.


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What will Westar Energy do with my existing thermostat?
When your new thermostat is installed, you will keep your existing thermostat. If your existing thermostat contains mercury, the installer will offer to have it recycled with your consent. If you decide to leave the program during the first three years, we will re-install your original thermostat at no charge. If you originally asked the installer to recycle your mercury-containing thermostat, we will install a replacement thermostat (provided by you) at no charge.


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What rate relief will I receive?
Rate relief is not a component of this program, but combining Westar Energy's electric rates, which are well below the national average, with knowledge of your energy use can help you take charge of your electric usage and money spent each month on energy.


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Is there a rebate if I participate?
No, Westar Energy provides the thermostat, installation, customer service, and on-line programming feature - a product and service package worth more than $300. You benefit, additionally, through savings on your annual energy costs and by helping to keep future rates as low as possible.


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CYCLING THE WATTSAVER THERMOSTAT


Will Westar Energy change my heating or cooling settings?
No, Westar Energy cannot change your settings and will only cycle your air conditioner or heat pump when absolutely necessary.


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Do I have to adjust my thermostat or change other settings to participate in the program?
No, we will send a paging signal to your thermostat to start the cycling process.


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Will I be able to change my thermostat settings during a cycling event?
No, you will not be able to change your thermostat settings during a cycling event. Please note, you may choose to not participate in one cycling event per month. You may opt out of a specific day via your online programming page or by calling WattSaver at 1-888-753-6523. We will not cycle on weekends or holidays.


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How will I know if a cycling event is planned for today?
On the day a cycling event is planned, Westar Energy will post a message on the WattSaver Website by 11 a.m. Your personal online programming page will include not only the cycling message but also cycling history.


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How will I know if a cycling event is in progress?
The word "SAVINGS" will appear on the top line of the thermostat's display screen during a cycling event.


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Will the temperature in my home or business change during a cycling event? Possibly, depending on a number of factors (e.g., outside temperature, cooling system efficiency, insulation, etc.) your temperature may increase slightly. However, most participants will not notice a change.


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Do I have to participate in every cycling event?
No, you may choose to not participate in one cycling event per month.


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Will cycling events harm my air conditioner?
No, the frequency and duration of cycling is within standards developed by the heating and cooling industry. If you have additional questions, please call WattSaver at 1-888-753-6523.


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My cooling unit needs to be serviced, repaired or tested. What do I need to do to temporarily disable the WattSaver from the power saving schedule?
Call a WattSaver customer service representative at 1-888-753-6523 to opt out that day.


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How long do I have to participate in the program?
WattSaver is a voluntary program. However, we strongly encourage participants to commit to the WattSaver program for three years. After three years, you will own the thermostat even if you decide to withdraw from the program. Westar will provide free maintenance and customer service for your thermostat for as long as you remain in the program.


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MOVE IN/MOVE OUT

What should I do with the WattSaver thermostat when I move out of the property?
The WattSaver thermostat should remain with the property when you move. When a new owner/tenant moves in, we will send them a letter to explain the WattSaver program. Please leave the old non-WattSaver thermostat with the property (if not previously recycled) in case the next owner/tenant does not want to participate in the program.


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Can I have a WattSaver thermostat installed at my new address if there's not one there already?
Yes, as long as Westar Energy is the electric provider at the new location, and the heating and cooling system qualifies for the program. Once you move in, please call our toll-free hotline at 1-888-753-6523 to schedule an installation appointment.


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Do I need to re-enroll if I am already a participant and move to a location that already has a WattSaver thermostat?
No, you will automatically remain a participant in the program.


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If I am currently participating and move to a new location that already has a WattSaver thermostat, will I be able to access the online programming system with my current information?
No, you will access the online programming system by using your new Westar Energy account number and the WattSaver thermostat's serial number at your new location. Once you have successfully logged in, you can reset your User Name and Password. If you have questions or need assistance, please call our toll-free hotline at 1-888-753-6523.


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TROUBLESHOOTING

If my thermostat stops working, who should I call for assistance?
Call the WattSaver hotline toll-free at 1-888-753-6523 and a representative will assist you.


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What will happen during a cycling event if I manually adjust my thermostat?
You will not be able to change your thermostat settings during an event. If you need assistance, please call the WattSaver hotline toll-free at 1-888-753-6523.


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Is the thermostat programmed to recognize daylight-saving time?
Yes, the real-time clock should not require adjustment since it automatically updates for daylight-saving time and stores all date/time information.


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If I temporarily lose power to my home or business, will the thermostat clock need resetting?
Not unless the battery is dead. A back up, coin-cell battery maintains the thermostat clock and program. The purpose of the battery is to hold the time in the event of power interruption. If the battery is dead or removed when power is restored, the user will have to re-enter the time. We recommend replacing the battery annually.


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Can I still adjust my thermostat remotely if I no longer have Internet access in my home or business?
WattSaver customers can access their personal online programming page from any computer that has Internet access.


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What do I do if my thermostat is not adhering to the programmed schedule?
The thermostat has a comfort feature (called adaptive recovery) that allows it to "learn" when and for how long the heating or cooling system must operate to reach your desired settings at programmed times for the most cost-efficient operations.


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My thermostat display is flashing and is displaying a message to call a number.
A problem has occurred with the thermostat's connection and may be causing a problem with the settings. Please call the WattSaver hotline toll-free at 1-888-753-6523.


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How will Westar know what my thermostat settings are?
Westar will not know your thermostat's settings. You always have complete control over how your thermostat is programmed, except during cycling events.


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The temperature setting online doesn't match what is on my thermostat. Is it broken?
No, if you have changed your settings on the thermostat itself (i.e., at the wall), these changes are not communicated back to your online programming website because the paging signal is only one-way. You must change your settings online to match those on the thermostat itself.


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More information about programming your WattSaver thermostat online.