March 4, 2002

ROSEMEAD, Calif., March 4, 2002-With hot weather approaching, Southern California Edison (SCE) is encouraging small business customers and nonprofit organizations to participate in a program that will use the SCE Energy$mart ThermostatSM in selected areas of SCE's service territory.  The utility will install the thermostats for free and provide cash incentives to customers who sign up for the program. 

 "The Energy$mart ThermostatSM is a new, advanced customer-friendly technology that both allows customers to save energy and SCE to monitor settings and change them remotely to reduce power needs," said  Mark S. Martinez, program manager at SCE's customer programs and services division.  "Information is also collected on how effective the program is in helping participants save utility costs and maintain comfort on hot days from May-October 2002."

Participating businesses and nonprofit organizations can set their thermostats to operate at a temperature and schedule best suited for their activities to save energy. During the summer test period, SCE will be able to increase the thermostat setpoint to reduce, but not eliminate air conditioning use.  Customers retain the ability to override the higher setpoint as part of the test.

Customers in the test program will receive up to $300 at the end of the year for each thermostat installed.  However, a participant that overrides SCE's settings will lose a portion of the incentive.

To qualify for this program, small commercial businesses and nonprofit organizations must not use more than 200 kilowatts of power at any time during any given month.  Participants in the program must also have at least three tons of air conditioning with a single zone thermostat for each unit.  In some cases, SCE may allow more than one unit at one site to participate.

The program is available on a first-come, first-served basis and is limited to select geographical areas where air conditioning usage is highest.  More information is available by calling (877) 823-8716 or by visiting and clicking on "Load Reduction Incentives."

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An Edison International company, Southern California Edison is one of the nation's largest electric utilities, serving a population of more than 11 million via 4.3 million customer accounts in a 50,000-square-mile service area within central, coastal and Southern California. For more information on the California electricity crisis, see