San Diego Gas & Electric began an incentive program Wednesday to reward customers with discounts on their bills for reducing energy use on days when the state power grid is taxed by high demand.
The Power Saver Rewards Program can be activated anytime between now and Oct. 31 whenever the California Independent System Operator issues an alert.
"By being part of this program, our customers can save on their energy bill while also helping to keep the grid reliable for all Californians on those hot summer days, when electricity supplies may not be sufficient to meet demand statewide," SDG&E Director of Customer Programs Hollie Bierman said. "Our regional grid is interconnected with the rest of the state, and we appreciate our customers' willingness to do their part to help."
According to SDG&E, customers enrolled in the program will be notified a day ahead of the need to conserve, so they can prepare accordingly. Those who are able to reduce energy use between 4 and 9 p.m. below their typical energy use during these peak hours will receive $2 credit for each kilowatt-hour of electricity saved. There is no penalty for not reducing energy use.
Get San Diego local news, weather forecasts, sports and lifestyle stories to your inbox. Sign up for NBC San Diego newsletters.
It takes about 2 kWh to do a load of dishes or use the oven for an hour. The average residential customer in SDG&E's service territory uses about 400 kWh of electricity per month.
Per California Public Utilities Commission requirements, more than 570,000 SDG&E customers, including those currently on bill discount programs, have been automatically enrolled in the program.
For more information, visit sdge.com/powersaver or contact the Power Saver Rewards Program at 866-291-9516.