Arizona is experiencing record high temperatures, lasting not just days but weeks, forcing many to crank up their air conditioners with the unintended effect of straining the region’s electrical grid. This summer and fall, Arizonans have the opportunity to get paid to beat the heat and join demand response programs that support the grid and receive substantial compensation for participating, including cash and free or discounted smart thermostats.
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Over 100,000 Arizonans are already receiving incentives from their utility to participate, and electricity providers are looking to put even more money back into customers’ pockets. Some utilities are even giving away free smart thermostats, helping customers participate, save energy, and keep comfortable during the summer.
Through partnerships with EnergyHub, Arizona Public Service (APS), Salt River Project (SRP), and Tucson Electric Power (TEP) customers can learn more about their utility’s demand response programs and easily enroll.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, demand response programs provide an opportunity for consumers to play a significant role in ensuring the reliability of the electric grid by allowing their utility to automatically reduce or shift their electricity usage during peak periods, in exchange for financial incentives. APS, SRP, and TEP customers are already making a major contribution to grid reliability, shifting an average of 276 megawatts on hot summer days. That’s the equivalent of powering more than 45,000 homes.
How do these programs work?
- In August and September, APS and SRP customers who enroll in their utility demand response program can receive a Google Nest Thermostat for as low as $0*. TEP customers can receive a Google Nest Thermostat for as low as $0* through the end of 2023 (no demand response enrollment required). The Nest Thermostat is ENERGY STAR® certified and can be adjusted from anywhere to stay comfortable in any season.**
- Arizona demand response programs are simple, and utility customers can always stop participating in a demand response event at any time by adjusting their thermostat setpoint.
- Customers sign up through their utility website or within a participating smart thermostat mobile app and receive an enrollment credit ($50/device, two or five device limit depending on the utility program) and an annual participation credit between $25-$40.
- Practically any smart thermostat is eligible. EnergyHub integrates with thermostat brands including Alarm.com, Amazon, Building36, ecobee, Emerson, Google, Lux Products, Resideo, and more. If customers want to purchase a new smart thermostat, they can do so directly on their utility’s marketplace website and get the device free or at a deep discount.
- To support the grid during the hot summer months, certain enrolled smart thermostats might pre-cool a home before an anticipated period of exceptionally high electricity use, known as an “event,” which typically lasts from 2-3 hours.
- During the event period, customers help reduce demand for electricity when the program adjusts the set point on their thermostats up a few degrees.
“These three utilities are stepping up to make it easier than ever for customers to be part of the solution with easy enrollment, financial incentives, and discounted or free devices,” said Jessie Guest, Strategic Client Success Manager at EnergyHub. “Arizona utilities are using this type of flexibility program to help keep the grid reliable and their customers comfortable and safe.”
A recent opinion piece in the New York Times sums up the need for demand response, “In situations like these, which will become more frequent as climate change makes heat waves longer and more intense, voluntary energy conservation isn’t likely to cut it. What if instead of appealing to goodwill, utilities just paid people to reduce their power use during peak hours? It would be cheaper, faster and more effective than building new power plants.”
EnergyHub is an independent subsidiary of Alarm.com (NASDAQ: ALRM), the leading platform for the intelligently connected property.