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Met-Ed customers seeing red over green program

By Pam Cunningham, Reporter
Published On: Jun 21 2012 10:19:15 PM CDT
Updated On: Jun 22 2012 09:46:17 AM CDT

Met-Ed suspends 'Easy Green' program

MOHRSVILLE, Pa. -

Met-Ed has suspended a program to conserve electricity after some heated customer complaints. 20,000 customers voluntarily signed up for the EasyGreen program to allow Met-Ed to regulate their central air conditioners during peak hours. But those EasyGreen customers said they never thought they would have to sweat it out when the temperature rose.

Some Met-Ed customers said Wednesday night they didn't want to go to sleep when their homes were over 80 degrees. They're thankful Thursday night wasn't a repeat.

Many Met-Ed EasyGreen program customers said they didn't understand why their air stopped flowing for so long Wednesday, especially since it was so hot outside.

"I thought it would be different," said Cristen Himmelberger of Mohrsville, "I feel blindsided, I guess."

Himmelberger said when she signed up for the EasyGreen Program she didn't know her air conditioner would be off for several hours. She said she thought her thermostat would just go up six degrees during peak hours.

"When we left the house it said 83 degrees, but we had it set at 76 so it increased 7,8 degrees," said Himmelberger.

Her neighbor Ike Kachel said he was told the thermostat would increase even less.

"Three to four degrees is minimal so I thought I could handle that, but when it goes to nine, ten degrees that's a little excessive," said Kachel.

A Met-Ed spokesperson said the EasyGreen program customers received a box to allow their central air units to fluctuate six to nine degrees above the thermostat setting.

"That is not what I signed up for at all," said Kachel.

And he said when he tried to complain, he couldn't.

"I tried to contact the service numbers on the box and of course there was a busy signal on the telephone and then the Web site was down," said Kachel, "So then I knew there must have been a lot of people calling and complaining about it."

Met-Ed said after receiving so many complaints on Wednesday it is suspending the program to investigate and won't reinstate it without notifying customers.

"If I was misinformed, I don't want it at all now," said Kachel, "You can come and get it."

PPL is offering a similar program involving more than 40,000 customers. Officials said about 2% of the participants lodged complaints yesterday.