New technology is helping some Glendale residents keep cold. Cold hard cash.
With the help of federal stimulus money, the city recently upgraded their power system with something called smart-grid technology.
Using smart power meters, the grid now tries to predict and respond to the needs of the customers using the power it provides.
Now customers can use a digital frame, which can read information directly from their smart meter.
The frame shows not only the amount of power they use, but it breaks down how much each appliance is using, and how much it costs.
With this information, power officials hope people can manage their use of power more efficiently. They can cut back on using some appliances, and allocate those resources to others.
Jim Sepe is the first person to take part in a Glendale Water & Power pilot program. He has been given a frame for free to test it out.
"My house is using, with the air conditioner on, $1.30 an hour," Sepe said.
"It's amazing," said Craig Kuennan, of Glendale Water & Power. "When you get to see how much you're using, you can go around the house, turn things on and off. You see your energy usage go up or down in real time."
Sepe may be the first person to try the new technology, but he won't be the last.
In the next week or so, GWP would like to add five to ten new homes to the program, then have as many as 50 up and running in the next few months.
If all works well in testing, the program is expected to be fully on-line by early next year.
Right now the frames are free, but when the service is completely working, customers will have to pay a monthly fee.