Is Xcel Energy's Saver's Switch worth it?

Hot summer days mean more air conditioning, meaning peaks in the demand for electricity.

Xcel Energy's Saver's Switch is supposed to help but some Panhandle residents seem to hate it.

The energy company offers the
voluntary program and an electrician comes to the resident's house to install that unit. Xcel said it's designed to provide a reliable transmission of electricity and keep your electric bill lower.

"What happens on a really hot day 4-5 o'clock is your compressor is running a lot so it's using a lot of energy so this will cycle it on average 15-20 minutes," said Wes Reeves of Xcel Energy. "What that does is save a little electricity for you but really helps us shave a little of the peak off our peak demand."

Pronews 7 has received feedback from some consumers who said the saver's switch isn't a benefit, but instead a hassle. They said they were not pleased coming home to a warm house on a hot day.

"It really depends of the type of house someone has," said Reeves. "(Factors include) the age of the unit and the amount of insulation they might have in their house, if they're in a really well-insulated house they're probably not going to see but a few degrees in temperature."

Reeves said an independent test of 40 homes showed an average increase of only one-to-two degrees during activation. On controlled days, Reeves said the switch is typically activated between 2-7 p.m.

The "cycle," according to Reeves, will only happen on average 10-15 days per year.

Xcel Energy offers a $50 credit every year the customer participates in the program.