California blackouts

Get Paid to Save Energy During Peak Usage Hours

NBC 7 Responds looked at the SDG&E program that incentivizes cutting back on energy usage

NBC Universal, Inc.

Hot summer months mean lots of air conditioning, and all that electric usage adds up. That's why California is rolling out a new program to try and help reduce peak usage.

"With that summer heat we're using a lot more cooling devices," said Candace Hadley with SDG&E. "It's important for us to look at ways to save energy."

The new initiative is the Power Saver Rewards Program. Hadley says customers can apply to join, then when the state issues a flex alert, you will get a heads up and can plan to reduce how much power you are using.

"The more you conserve between the hours of 4 and 9 p.m., that's when you're going to see a $2 bill credit for every kilowatt-hour you save," said Hadley.

Those savings can quickly add up.

SDG&E says the average household uses about 400 kilowatts of electricity each month. It takes about two kilowatts of electricity to run the dishwasher, or use your oven for an hour.

"The reduction we see on your use is compared to your general usage overall," said Hadley.

If you are a customer through one of SDG&E's programs like CARE or FERA, you are automatically enrolled in the new program. Otherwise, you can check your availability here.

Hadley also says if you get one of the alerts but can't cut back on your usage for any reason, that's not a problem.

"It's voluntary," said Hadley. "There's no penalty if you can't conserve energy."

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