With the push of a button on his new thermostat, Kyle Pickard of Pensacola recently became the 10,000th customer to participate in the award-winning Energy Select program for Gulf Power Company.

“I saw information on the program on a TV ad, went online and researched it and decided to give it a shot,” Pickard said. “I’m always looking to save money.”

Energy Select, the nationally recognized energy conservation program, is an interactive energy management system that allows customers to program their central cooling and heating system, electric water heater and pool pump to automatically respond to four different electricity prices depending upon the time of day, day of week and season. As an Energy Select customer, he will pay a lower price for electricity 87 percent of the time.

“Customers like Kyle are finding out that Energy Select is a great way to save money on their bill,” said Natalie Smith, Gulf Power spokesperson. “It gives them more control over their energy use and more choice over the price they will pay, all while helping to reduce demand for electricity.”

Since its inception in 2000, Energy Select has been recognized by everyone from Newsweek magazine and the Wall Street Journal to the National Society of Professional Engineers. Besides being the first program of its type anywhere in the United States, it is seen as a state-of-the-art technology that is re-inventing the concept of energy efficiency.

There are four elements that work as a system to help save money and energy on the Energy Select program.

First, there’s a special programmable thermostat. This thermostat, along with “intelligent” timers for applicable appliances, allows customers to pre-program their central cooling and heating system, electric water heater and pool pump to put them in control of how much energy they purchase, when they purchase it and at whatprice they purchase it.

The second element is the Energy Select rate that goes along with the program. The rate is structured so that customers have the opportunity to pay a lower price for electricity 87 percent of the time.

The communication gateway is the third element of the Energy Select program. The gateway facilitates communication among the equipment in the home (thermostat and appliance control) as well as the exchange of data between the home and Gulf Power.

The fourth element is the online programming portal. Programming a thermostat has been made even simpler with the Internet feature offered with Energy Select. Customers can program their central cooling and heating system, electric water heater and pool pump from the convenience of any computer with Internet access.

“A sophisticated system that puts total control at the customer’s fingertips, and the potential for significant bill savings, is why this program is nationally recognized as one of the most advanced systems of its kind,” Smith said.

For more information on the Energy Select system, check out www.gulfpower.com or call 1-877-655-4001.