LOS ANGELES, Jan. 31, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) today announced a dramatic increase in the number of customers enrolled in the utility's Smart Therm program. Approximately 9,100 customers were enrolled in the Smart Therm program on Jan. 4, 2019 and that number now stands at 24,300 as of Jan. 28. Some customers have more than one thermostat in their home, which brings the total number of thermostats enrolled to 28,500. The program is a partnership between SoCalGas and participating smart thermostat manufacturers that aims to conserve natural gas during cold weather events, when local demand for natural gas for heating homes and hot water and cooking can increase rapidly.
Customers who enroll in the program agree to allow their smart thermostats to be automatically adjusted 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 still in its infancy, so seeing enrollment more than double in such a short period of time is a strong indicator of the interest in energy savings programs," said Dan Rendler, director of customer programs and assistance for SoCalGas. "Smart thermostats help manage demand during peak usage and they also support cost-savings for customers year-round."
Participants are sent notifications through their smart thermostat, smart phone app, or via email when a Smart Therm event is called. These notifications inform the customer that their enrolled thermostats will be automatically adjusted for four hours from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. or from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. A Smart Therm event can only be called once a day, weekdays. Smart Therm events are not called on 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. More information may be found here.
SoCalGas is a leader in the research and development of new technologies that increase energy efficiency, reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions and keep bills affordable for customers. In the last five years alone, SoCalGas energy efficiency programs have saved more than 146 million therms, enough to power 326,000 households a year. In addition to conserving energy, SoCalGas energy efficiency programs have helped customers save money on their energy costs. In the same five-year period, energy efficiency programs have generated nearly $862 million in avoided energy costs, including $161 million in annual customer bill savings.
SoCalGas also suggests these additional tips to reduce natural gas use during cold weather to help keep energy costs affordable:
Lower your furnace thermostat by three to five degrees, if health permits, to save up to 10 percent on heating costs;
Clean or replace your furnace filters according to manufacturer recommendations;
Have your air ducts tested for leaks. Leaky ducts can cost you between 10 to 30 percent in heating and cooling costs;
Reduce the temperature on your water heater;
Wash clothes in cold water;
More energy savings tips for the colder winter months are available here.
About SoCalGas 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.