Participating Customers Rewarded Over $55 Million in Bill Credits for Lowering Energy Use and Strain on the Grid Last Summer
OAKLAND, Calif.— The 2023 season for the Power Saver Rewards Program launches today, and Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) residential electric customers are encouraged to register now. The program rewards participants for temporarily reducing energy use when demand for electricity is high. Last year, PG&E customers received over $55 million in bill credits.
Power Saver Rewards Program event days are triggered by the state’s grid operator, the California Independent System Operator, calling a Flex Alert and/or an Energy Emergency Alert Watch between May 1 and October 31. Notifications to customers to reduce energy use as part of the program are sent out the day before an event. Over the ten event days in 2022, the average customer bill credit for program participants was $35.
Currently, more than 1.7 million customers are enrolled in the program. Customers who reduce energy use between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. on event days will receive an automatic credit on their energy statement after the program season ends. Customers receive $2 per kilowatt hour (kWh) for decreasing electricity use during events. There is no penalty for not reducing energy.
“The Power Saver Rewards Program is a win for our customers and lessens the demand on the grid, strengthening reliability and benefitting the environment. Last year this program was a difference-maker and helped avert rotating power outages during record-setting temperatures,” said Aaron August, PG&E Vice President of Utility Partnerships and Innovation.
The program, initiated by the California Public Utilities Commission, encourages energy conservation during extreme heat waves to lessen the overall strain on the grid and prevent the need for rotating outages. Customers successfully shifted energy usage away from peak demand times on event days. During peak hours, customers temporarily reduced usage by taking actions such as turning their thermostat to 78 degrees or higher (health permitting), turning off lights not in use, unplugging electric vehicles, and waiting until after peak hours to use large appliances such as washers, dryers and electric ovens.
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 can also join. Customers can disenroll from the program at any time through the program website.
It’s easy to enroll and get rewarded for reducing energy use this summer. Visit powersaver.pge.com to learn more and sign up.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is a combined natural gas and electric utility serving more than 16 million people across 70,000 square miles in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit pge.com and pge.com/news.