With the new Power Saver Rewards Program being launched this month, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) customers will be rewarded for saving energy during select hot days through October.
The program is free, voluntary and 1.8 million customers are being enrolled this month. Others are encouraged to join. The purpose is simple: Saving energy on hot days reduces the strain on California’s grid.
“The Power Saver Rewards Program is truly a win-win as customers will be rewarded financially for saving energy on hot days and, at the same time, the demand on the grid will be lessened to ensure continued reliability and cleaner air. There’s no cost or penalty for not reducing energy, just opportunities to be rewarded for reducing usage. That means customers can only save money and will never pay more by participating in the program,” said Aaron August, PG&E Vice President of Business Development and Customer Engagement.
Between May 1 and Oct. 31, Power Saver Rewards event days will be triggered when the state’s grid operator, the California Independent System Operator, issues an Energy Emergency Alert Watch and/or a Flex Alert. PG&E will send an email or text the day before an event day to remind customers of the hours to reduce energy use.
Customers who reduce energy use between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. on select hot days will receive a credit on their bill after the program season ends. The credit amount will be determined by how much the customer saves. The customer will receive $2 per kilowatt hour (kWh) for reducing electricity use during events with a yearly bill credit.
The program initiated by the California Public Utilities Commission aims to encourage action to reduce the overall strain on the grid and prevent the need for power plants running on fossil fuels. Customers can temporarily reduce usage by turning their thermostat to 78 degrees or higher (health permitting), turning off lights not in use, unplugging EVs and waiting to use big appliances such as washers, dryers, and electric ovens until the peak of grid demand passes.
PG&E electric customers with a SmartMeter not enrolled in a conflicting peak hour program are eligible to participate. Most customers enrolled in a Community Choice Aggregator (CCA) can also join. Customers can disenroll from the program at any time through the program website.
Some PG&E customers have been automatically enrolled in the program this month including those on the California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) and Family Electric Rate Assistance (FERA) programs.
It’s easy to enroll and get rewarded for reducing energy use this summer. Visit powersaver.pge.com to learn more about the program and sign up.