Customers who enroll in the demand response program can receive up to $75 as incentive
LOS ANGELES, Dec. 20, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) today announced the launch of the Smart Therm Program – a partnership between the utility and participating smart thermostat manufacturers that aims to conserve natural gas during some cold weather events this winter, when local demand for natural gas for home and hot water heating and cooking can increase rapidly and strain the natural gas system. Customers who enroll in the program agree to allow their smart thermostats to be adjusted automatically by up to four degrees when a Smart Therm Event is called. Program participants are eligible to receive a $50 incentive, plus an additional $25 for staying enrolled through April 1, 2019.
"The Smart Therm Program is an innovative demand response tool that not only leverages smart energy technology, but promotes energy reliability, saves our customers money, and reduces emissions linked to climate change," said Dan Rendler, director of customer programs and assistance at SoCalGas. "SoCalGas was the first utility in the country to pioneer voluntary demand response as a conservation effort back in 2016. This year, we're working hard to increase total enrollment to 50,000 participants this winter season."
"The Smart Therm Program is another example of how SoCalGas finds innovative ways to deliver world-class service to its customers," said Seth Frader-Thompson, president and co-founder of EnergyHub. "We're proud to provide SoCalGas with the software platform that enables the Smart Therm Program, and we look forward to continue collaborating with the leading connected thermostat providers to help SoCalGas customers save money."
When a Smart Therm Event is called, participants are sent notifications through their smart thermostat, smart phone app, or over email (depending on the manufacturer), letting them know that their thermostats will be automatically adjusted for four hours from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. or 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. A Smart Therm Event can only be called on a weekday and excludes federal holidays. Customers who enroll in the program can manually adjust their thermostat at any time.
Customers who purchase a smart thermostat can save an additional $75 by applying for a smart thermostat rebate from SoCalGas. The rebate covers models from Nest, ecobee, and Honeywell. To learn more or to participate in SoCalGas' Residential Rebate Program, visit socalgas.com/rebates.
In addition, SoCalGas launched a voluntary demand response alert system earlier this month designed to encourage customers to reduce natural gas use during peak usage periods, such as in the morning when customers need natural gas to heat their shower water or in the evening when customers need natural gas to cook their food. "Dial It Down" Alerts are similar to the Flex Alerts issued by the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) that call on customers to conserve electricity during high-demand periods. Some of the ways customers can reduce their natural gas use when a Dial It Down Alert is issued include:
- Setting their thermostat to 68 degrees when home and 55 degrees when not home;
- Taking shorter showers to use less hot water;
- Washing clothes with cold water;
- Running only full loads of dishes and clothes;
- Using low-flow shower heads;
- Keeping windows and doors closed when the heater is on; and
- Dressing warmer.
Thanks to energy efficiency measures and new innovative technologies, residential buildings account for only about 5 percent of greenhouse gas emissions statewide, according to the California Air Resources Board. SoCalGas offers more than 90 energy efficiency programs that have delivered $161 million in cost savings directly to its customers over the past five years.
Natural gas is the most affordable, reliable, clean, and increasingly renewable energy choice for home and water heating and cooking in Southern California and is used by more than 90 percent of residents in the region. According to the American Gas Association (AGA), across the country, households that use natural gas for water and space heating, cooking, and clothes drying save an average of $874 per year compared to homes using electricity for those applications.
More information on SoCalGas' Smart Therm Program can be found at socalgas.com/smarttherm.
Headquartered in Los Angeles, SoCalGas® is the largest natural gas distribution utility in the United States. SoCalGas delivers affordable, reliable, clean and increasingly renewable natural gas service to 21.8 million customers across 24,000 square miles of Central and Southern California, where more than 90 percent of residents use natural gas for heating, hot water, cooking, drying clothes or other uses. Natural gas delivered through the company's pipelines also plays a key role in providing electricity to Californians—about 60 percent of electric power generated in the state comes from gas-fired power plants.
SoCalGas is committed to investing in its natural gas system infrastructure, while keeping bills affordable for our customers. From 2013 through 2017, the company spent nearly $6 billion to upgrade and modernize its natural gas system to enhance safety and reliability. The company is also committed to being a leader in the region's clean energy future, and is working to accelerate the use of renewable natural gas from dairy farms, landfills, and wastewater treatment plants and the development of renewable energy storage technologies. SoCalGas is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), an energy services holding company based in San Diego. For more information, visit socalgas.com/newsroom or connect with SoCalGas on Twitter (@SoCalGas), Instagram (@SoCalGas) and Facebook.
SOURCE Southern California Gas Company
Fiorella Canedo, Office of Media & Public Information, Desk (213) 244-4162, Mobile (213) 276-9582, [email protected]