Enrolled customers who conserved during the last heat wave earned more than $11M in bill credits for helping to reduce strain on the statewide grid
SAN DIEGO, June 21, 2023 – With today being the first official day of summer, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) is sharing summer energy savings tips and encouraging its residential customers to sign up for Power Saver Rewards, an energy savings incentive program that rewards customers with bill credits for reducing their electricity use on days when the statewide grid is stressed by high demand. Enrolled customers who conserved during the summer 2022 heat wave earned more than $11 million in bill credits.
Tips on how to stay cool while keeping energy costs down are available at sdge.com/myenergy. This dedicated webpage also provides tools for managing energy use and avoiding surprise bills.
“Customers receive a double benefit when they participate in Power Saver Rewards and conserve energy: 1) they can save on their energy bill, and 2) they help to keep the grid reliable for all Californians on hot summer days when the grid is stressed,” said SDG&E Director of Customer Programs Hollie Bierman. “The grid is interconnected statewide, and we appreciate our customers’ willingness to do their part to help.”
Around Labor Day last year, an extended heat wave drove up energy demand significantly in California. The state was able to avoid rotating outages, in large part because of consumers responding to the call for conservation. The California Independent System Operator (CAISO), which manages the state’s flow of electricity on high-voltage power lines, issued an unprecedented nine straight days of Flex Alerts. Flex Alerts are voluntary calls for conservation that are typically issued during peak hours in the afternoon to reduce overall power consumption. Last year’s Flex Alerts triggered the Power Saver Reward program several times.
A Power Saver Rewards event may be called any day of the week from 4 to 9 p.m., May through October. When such an event is called, customers who lower their energy use below their typical use during the hours of 4 to 9 p.m. can earn a bill credit of $2 per kWh on their next month’s bill. There is no cap on the rewards.
Participation in the program is entirely voluntary. Participants are not penalized if they aren’t able to reduce their energy use. Residential customers served by a Community Choice Aggregation (CCA), or Direct Access programs are eligible to participate. Participants must be residential electric customers with a smart meter within SDG&E’s service territory and not taking part in other SDG&E energy conservation incentive programs such as AC Saver, Capacity Bidding, or a third-party program.
The Power Saver Rewards Program was initiated by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) in 2022 to strengthen summer reliability statewide. Per CPUC requirements, more than 570,000 SDG&E customers, including those currently on the CARE and FERA bill discount programs, were automatically enrolled in the program.
Residential customers can apply for Power Saver Rewards at sdge.com/powersaver or by calling (866) 291-9516.
Commercial customers are encouraged to enroll in the Emergency Load Reduction program, which is similar to Power Saver Rewards and has no penalties. In 2023, all businesses are eligible to participate, as the minimum energy reduction required to qualify for bill credits has been reduced from 50 kW to1 kW. Learn more at elrp.sdge.com.