Easing the Sting of Summer Energy Bills
Soon after Alexander Cho of Buena Park bought his first home in 2016, he and his wife began looking for ways to reduce the higher costs that usually come with being a new homeowner. He was surprised when his summer monthly energy bill was $400 higher than it had been at his apartment.
“Let’s do something about this,” he said.
Cho had read about Southern California Edison’s smart thermostat rebate and money-saving Demand Response programs. He chose the Smart Energy Program, which helps customers keep their electric bills manageable, especially during summertime high temperatures.
“I was able to earn the one-time $75 sign-up credit for enrolling and for replacing my old device with a new smart thermostat,” he said.
The program also rewards customers up to $40 in annual bill credits for conserving energy during SCE’s summer season: June 1-Sept. 30.
When a Smart Energy Program event is called, SCE’s authorized thermostat vendors temporarily adjust participating thermostats by up to four degrees to help reduce air-conditioning usage.
“If you are willing to be a little flexible in exchange for some credits, and ultimately a lower bill, it makes sense,” Cho said.
SCE's Demand Response Alerts mobile app sends a direct notification during an energy event — making it easy to be informed about temporary adjustments to air-conditioning usage. The program allows participants to override the thermostat adjustment at any time. However, overriding all SCE energy events in a calendar year can affect continued enrollment in the program.
Cho, who shares his home with his wife Caroline and their 2-year-old daughter Catherine, works in information technology and is a self-professed “tinkerer.” He wanted more out of SCE’s Demand Response programs than saving just money.
“I wanted to integrate my smart thermostat with some smart automated applications in my home. What interested me was the ability to remotely change temperature set points and pre-cool the home when it is hot outside and based on who is home,” he said.
SCE customers are part of the reliability solution and are compensated for their participation during Demand Response events, which are typically when temperatures are at their highest.”Carter Prescott, SCE Director of Advanced Energy Solutions
By making his home more energy efficient, Cho says he feels good about helping the environment and supporting the broader community that is connected to California’s energy grid.
“Demand Response is important for both customers and California,” said Carter Prescott, SCE director of Advanced Energy Solutions. “SCE customers are part of the reliability solution and are compensated for their participation during Demand Response events, which are typically when temperatures are at their highest.”
For Cho, there are benefits beyond cost savings.
“I feel like I am doing my part when I shave some of that peak demand off the grid,” he said.
To learn more about and apply to SCE's Smart Energy Program, visit: sce.com/sep.
Read tips for keeping summertime electric bills down. Read how energy conservation efforts help reduce the cost of energy consumption.