Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) announced that its Smart Therm Program received the Energy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Demand Response and Pricing from the Association of Energy Services Professionals’ (AESP) at this year’s 29th Annual AESP Conference in San Antonio, Texas. SoCalGas was recognized for being one of the first utilities in the country to pilot the use of smart thermostats for natural gas demand response. Natural gas demand response programs, like the Smart Therm Program, provide incentives to customers who agree to allow their thermostats to be automatically adjusted during periods of peak energy use, thereby helping conserve natural gas. Photos from the Energy Awards Luncheon are available here.
“Energy efficiency programs, like the Smart Therm Program, are one of the tools that help our customers reduce emissions linked to climate change, while also helping them conserve energy and save money,” said Darren Hanway, energy efficiency program operations manager for SoCalGas. “Over the past 10 years, SoCalGas residential customers’ natural gas consumption has decreased by more than 14 percent, and, since 1990, our energy efficiency programs have saved more than 622 million therms – the equivalent to the annual consumption of the State of Maine.”
“Energy efficiency and demand-side management programs represent a vital component of the energy industry,” said John Hargrove, CEO of AESP. “SoCalGas as well as our other award recipients have demonstrated their leadership roles in moving the industry forward and driving users of energy toward smarter methods of consumption.”
Customers who enroll in the Smart Therm Program agree to allow their smart thermostats to be adjusted automatically by up to four degrees when a Smart Therm Event is called. Depending on the manufacturer, participants are sent notifications through their smart thermostat, smart phone app, or over email, letting them know when their thermostats will be automatically adjusted. Program participants are eligible to receive a $50 incentive, plus an additional $25 for staying enrolled through April 1, 2019, and can save an additional $75 by applying for a smart thermostat rebate from SoCalGas. The rebate covers models from Nest, ecobee, Honeywell, and others. To learn more or to participate in SoCalGas’ Residential Rebate Program, visit socalgas.com/rebates.
Delivering Results in Energy Efficiency
SoCalGas is a leader in researching and developing new technologies that improve energy efficiency and protect the environment. Over the past five years, SoCalGas’ energy efficiency programs have delivered more than 146 million therms in energy savings – enough to power 326,000 households a year – and have reduced greenhouse gas emissions by more than 775,000 metric tons – the equivalent of removing nearly 165,000 cars from the road.
In addition to conserving energy, SoCalGas’ energy efficiency programs have helped customers save money on their energy costs. Over the past five years, the utility’s energy efficiency programs have generated nearly $862 million of avoided energy costs, including $161 million in annual customer bill savings. Over the same period, SoCalGas energy efficiency programs have also resulted in:
- 29 million square feet of energy efficient insulation installed in homes;
- $15 million incentives provided to construct energy efficient homes;
- 887,623 customers receiving low-flow showerheads and aerators;
- 446,935 low-income households treated with free energy efficiency upgrades;
- 382,883 ENERGY STAR® Certified clothes washers and dishwashers purchased with rebates;
- 319,864 home energy efficiency surveys taken by customers; and
- 95,492 energy efficient water heaters purchased with rebates.
In addition to the Smart Therm Program, in late 2018, SoCalGas launched a voluntary demand response alert system designed to encourage customers to reduce natural gas consumption during peak usage periods. “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.
More information on SoCalGas’ Smart Therm Program can be found at socalgas.com/smarttherm.
This article was released by the Southern California Gas Co.