GLENDALE : City Air Conditioner Program Expanded

The Glendale City Council has approved expanding a pilot program that allows officials to order home air conditioners to be turned off in private homes during peak hours of demand in the summer.

Residents who agree to participate will get a discount on their energy bills.

The council first initiated the Residential Central Air Conditioners Load Program in May, 1991, making it available to 250 residents. Tuesday's decision makes the program available to 500.

As of this month, 240 customers have enrolled, signing an agreement giving city officials permission to attach a miniature, brick-shaped radio-control device on the frame of their air conditioners.

"It gives us the ability to exercise control of their air-conditioning unit," said Michael P. Hopkins, the city's public service director. "We can turn their unit on and off."

In exchange, homeowners receive an average of $15 a month off their electric bills between June and September--regardless of whether city officials shut down the air-conditioning units. The average discount is based on an air conditioner commonly used in three-bedroom homes, Hopkins said.

Already, similar devices are used by Southern California Edison Co., he said. The city runs its program in cooperation with the city of Pasadena.

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