I have had the Energy Wise set up with Progress Energy for 10 years in Florida with no problem till today. Today I thought I was "hot flashing", so went to my digital thermostat to turn it down a degree, and there was no display at all. Weird. So I flipped on/off the inside and outside breakers, looked for a battery in the stat, etc. I went online and typed in the symptom and it talked about faulty connection, bad 3 amp fuse in the transformer or a bad transformer.
So i called my A/C service at $148 for an after hours service call. Awfully hot and humid in August, so I had to ante in the extra $50 for same day service. Shortly thereafter, the A/C kicked on, and the display was back. Within 10 minutes, it was gone again. So the A/C guy came and looked a bit, then it kicked on again. He asked if I had Energy Wise and I said yes, but it never acts like this! He said he had just gotten 5 calls from customers with the same symptoms right before he knocked on my door.
We checked the Energy Wise panel which is way at the back of my pantry behind the water heater. It was lit up like a Christmas tree. They had hijacked all my A/C and water heater power!. When I called Progress-Energy, they said they were having brown outs and they took our power for 16.5 minutes. That plus the 5 minute delay to come back on meant they stole my power for 21.5 minutes and I only had it for about 13 minutes then they took it again.
This went on for several hours. They refused to give me a credit on my bill for my false A/C service call of $148 even though they were interrupting my power more than they ever had in 10 years WITH NO NOTICE OR PHONE CALL OR EMAIL OR WARNING. NOTHING!!! Then they acted like I should've automatically known to check my Energy Wise box even though their excessive use gave all different symptoms than the energy wise box ever did. So in 1 day, I paid out 2 years of energy savings.
The company admitted to using more of our energy than usual today, but I don't understand why they cannot notify us when this happens so we can know to not call for A/C service and incur bills while trying to save money with this program. They have our phone numbers for an auto dialer, and our emails for billing and whatnot. I told them to come get the box and unenroll me from the program immediately. I hope enough customers complain to them and the utilities commission that they have to give some kind of rebate for our lost money on apparent A/C service issues.
I had to pay $148 for an A/C service call due to progress energy's decision to tap deeply into my power supply without notice, causing unusual symptoms in my A/C and thermostat unlike any I have seen in the 10 years I have had the Energy-Wise set up with Progress Energy.
My A/C repairman was drowning in late afternoon and early evening calls from customers experiencing the same unusual symptoms I had encountered, so many of them also would have the $148 fees. And that is just onbe repairman for one A/C company of the HUNDREDS of companies in central florida.
Progress-Energy admitted excessive use of my power and that apparently extended across the power grid to thousands of Energy-Wise customers, causing a cumulative financial hardship. They admitted doing this to avoid a blackout. They refused coldly my request for a credit to my account to help offset the charge of the A/C company's diagnosis that their equipment which is computer operated was having a problem, or was set to interfere severely with power supply. I would rather have had a blackout. I essentially had one anyway as the only appliance I was interested in using was my air conditioner which they pirated repeatedly for 16.5 minutes each time PLUS the 5 minute delay in the unit coming back on each time. This gave me my unit for only about 13 minutes every 34.5 minutes which was just enough time to blow all the hot air out of the ducts into my face and bring the house temp down to an amazing 82 degrees. Then they pirated again.
This went on for HOURS. All over the Central Florida area. We need a class action suit. They should be required to notify us if they will be using the Energy-Wise equipment in an unusual way.