Frequently Asked Questions
Who is eligible to participate?
All Entergy Arkansas residential electric customers who have central air conditioning units or air source heat pumps are eligible to participate in Summer Advantage. If you rent, landlord approval is required.
Note: Room and window air conditioner units as well as ductless mini-split heat pumps are not eligible for this program.
How does Summer Advantage work?
When you enroll in Summer Advantage, we’ll connect a device called a digital cycling unit (DCU) on or near your central air conditioning unit or heat pump. It receives a signal during a conservation period to turn your unit’s compressor on and off for a few minutes each half-hour during the hottest summer weekday afternoons — from June 1 through September 30 (excluding holidays) — when demand for electricity is high.
Are there any hidden costs or fees with this program?
No. Participation is totally voluntary and you do not pay to participate.
How will I know when a conservation period is occurring?
Check your DCU. You will need to go outside to inspect the device. A red LED will appear in the window of the DCU throughout the conservation period.
How often will the program be activated?
Summer Advantage typically operates on the hottest weekdays, for a small block of time from 12:00 – 7:00 p.m. CST, June 1 through September 30. The program will not be activated on holidays or weekends unless there is an unexpected critical need. An event will last no more than 4 hours and on no more than 3 consecutive days.
Will my comfort level be affected during activation?
While your compressor is in conservation mode, your unit’s fan continues to circulate the cool air throughout your home. During this time, the temperature may rise a few degrees but, if you’re like most customers in similar programs, it’s unlikely you’ll notice the change.
- At the 50 percent cycling level your air conditioner compressor operates 50 percent of the time that it did in the hour prior to the conservation period. Most participating at this level report they don’t notice a difference.
- At the 75 percent cycling level your air conditioner compressor operates 25 percent of the time that it did in the hour prior to the conservation period. This option is best for those who aren’t home during the day.
Do I need to be available when the DCU is installed?
The DCU will be installed on or near your outdoor central air conditioning unit or heat pump, so it is not necessary for you to be present at that time. Just be sure your central air conditioning unit or heat pump and safety disconnect switch are accessible to the technician. If you prefer to be present, you can schedule an appointment with us.
How will I receive my incentives?
Participating customers will receive an Installation Check ($25 at the 50 percent cycling level; $40 at the 75 percent cycling level) within 60 days of installation of their DCU. Participants at the 50 percent cycling level will also receive a $25 Thank-You Check in December. Participants at the 75 percent cycling level will also receive a $40 Thank-You Check in December. Partial payment will be based on the customer participation level on the last day of each of the four cooling months and will be paid out based on the chart below.
|Participation Level||Installation Check||Thank-You Check (annual)|
|50 percent||$25||$25 ($6.25/month)|
|75 percent||$40||$40 ($10/month)|
Can I switch my participation level after signing up for Summer Advantage?
Yes. Summer Advantage has been designed to meet your changing needs. During your first year of participation, you will be permitted to switch your cycling level twice (2x). In subsequent years, you will be permitted to change your level of commitment once (1x) annually. You will not be able to receive a higher installation amount and you will receive a prorated payment amount for the program months you were active.
Am I permitted to "opt out" of a conservation period?
All customers are permitted to opt out of up to two emergency conservation periods per season. Participants who wish to override a conservation period will need to call our Summer Advantage experts at 866-224-7812 from the hours of 8:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. CST.
Are there penalties for withdrawing from Summer Advantage?
If you become dissatisfied, you can leave Summer Advantage at no cost, upon request. You will, however, only receive an incentive check and a prorated thank-you check ($6.25/month at 50 percent cycling and $10/month at 75 percent cycling) for the program months you were active.
What causes "times of critical electricity demand"?
Times of critical (or peak) electricity demand occur when everyone uses a lot of electricity at the same time, creating stresses on a limited energy supply. The frequency of critical peak demand periods has increased as the population and the use of electric appliances has grown, and both have grown tremendously in Arkansas over the past 30 years. Summer Advantage is just one way Entergy Arkansas is managing the rising demand for electricity, to prevent power outages while keeping electricity rates low, deferring the construction of high cost power plants, and helping the environment by reducing emissions produced on hot, humid days.
How does Summer Advantage benefit me and the community?
Regional electricity prices are usually highest during periods of high electricity usage, especially during hot weekday afternoons in the summer. By lowering the peak electricity use during hot weekday afternoons, Summer Advantage may help to reduce peak demand throughout our service territory, which should help to stabilize the price of electricity that you will pay over time.
I have an air conditioning system/heat pump that was installed some time ago – is it too old to participate in this program?
Our technician will assess the condition of your unit(s) when he arrives onsite for device installation. If there are problems that can be repaired or remedied, and that allow you to participate, the technician will explain the situation and your options, and you will be able to participate once the system repairs are completed by your HVAC contractor. (Our technicians are not allowed to make repairs for you.) If there are fundamental or major problems with your system, which may include you having one of a few particular brands/models of systems that are inherently incompatible with the Summer Advantage equipment, you will also be notified of the situation, and what options, if any, exist for you to participate.