FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHY IS ENERGY WISE REWARDS NOW OPEN TO DELAWARE CUSTOMERS?
The Delaware Public Service Commission approved the Energy Wise Rewards program for Delmarva Power Delaware customers. Please check our website (www.delmarva.com) frequently for information updates on new programs designed to help you save money and energy.
HOW DOES ENERGY WISE REWARDS WORK?
When you enroll in this voluntary peak-energy management program, we will install at no charge an indoor web-programmable thermostat or an outdoor switch near your central air conditioning unit or heat pump. On select days during times of peak electricity usage, generally June through October, we’ll automatically cycle off and on participating central air conditioners and heat pumps to help reduce the region’s demand for electricity. These events are known as Energy Wise Rewards conservation periods and they occur on Peak Savings Days. In turn, you’ll receive bill credits off your electricity bill for participating.
WHAT IS “CYCLING”?
When a Peak Savings Day is called, your device will receive a radio signal that will put your cooling unit’s compressor into a “conservation mode”. For example, if you elect 50% cycling, your compressor will operate half the time it did during the prior hour. The fan will continue to run, circulating already-cooled air throughout your home.
ARE THERE ANY HIDDEN COSTS OR FEES WITH THIS PROGRAM?
No. Participation is totally voluntary and you do not pay to participate.
CAN I RECEIVE ANY OTHER FINANCIAL BENEFITS FROM ENERGY WISE REWARDS?
Yes. Energy Wise Rewards works hand-in-hand with our Peak Energy Savings Credit program available to all electric customers. With Peak Energy Savings Credit, all customers will be eligible to earn credits off your bills for reducing energy use on Peak Savings Days. Delaware customers can receive $1.25 for every kWh you reduce your use below your personal baseline established by us. Energy Wise Rewards will automatically reduce your A/C energy use for you. Go to www.takecontroldelaware.com/pesc or call 1-855-750-PEAK for more details on the Peak Energy Savings Credit.
CAN I PARTICIPATE IN BOTH ENERGY WISE REWARDS AND PEAK ENERGY SAVINGS CREDIT?
Yes. Energy Wise Rewards automatically reduces your air conditioner energy use. Other energy reduction changes you make help reduce your energy use below your personal baseline, and earn you $1.25 per kWh reduced below your baseline.
MAY I SWITCH MY DEVICE TYPE?
Yes. Energy Wise Rewards has been designed to meet your changing needs. You will need to contact the Program Call Center at 1-866-353-5799 to request and schedule the change of devices.
CAN I SWITCH MY PARTICIPATION LEVEL AFTER SIGNING UP FOR ENERGY WISE REWARDS?
Yes. Energy Wise Rewards has been designed to meet your changing needs. During your first year of participation, you will be permitted to switch your cycling level twice (2x). In subsequent years, you will be permitted to change your level of commitment once (1x) annually.
HOW OFTEN WILL THE PROGRAM BE ACTIVATED?
The number of conservation periods depends on many factors, including weather, peak electricity demand, and wholesale energy costs. Energy Wise Rewards is only activated during times of high electricity demand, emergency conditions, or system testing. As such, there may be as few as one conservation period or as many as a dozen. In a typical year, one can expect five or fewer events.
WHEN AND FOR HOW LONG WILL A CONSERVATION PERIOD LAST?
Conservation periods typically occur on select summer weekday afternoons, called Peak Savings Days, and can last anywhere from three to six hours. If PJM requires an event to be called for reliability reasons (a Priority Peak Day), it will last until the situation is resolved; therefore, we cannot state how long an event of this type may last.
CAN AN EMERGENCY PJM-REQUIRED EVENT (A PRIORITY PEAK DAY) OCCUR OUTSIDE OF THE MONTHS OF THE COOLING SEASON?
Yes. This could occur, and in that event your A/C system would be cycled off and on per the Energy Wise Rewards program rules and the customer agreement.
WILL ENERGY WISE REWARDS AFFECT MY COMFORT LEVEL?
Depending on the level of participation you choose, you may or may not notice that your cooling unit is even cycling during a Peak Savings Day event. The temperature in a typical home may rise 1-3 degrees (at the 50% level), 2-4 degrees (75% level), or 4-7 degrees (100% level). Variables such as home insulation, shaded windows, ceiling fans, and the amount of home foot traffic are some of the things that can also affect the temperature.
HOW WILL I KNOW WHEN AN ENERGY WISE REWARDS CONSERVATION PERIOD IS OCCURRING?
You will receive a notice the day before via your selected notification method in My Account — telephone, e-mail or text message. We will issue a news release prior to the event.
Check your programmable thermostat. When a conservation period occurs, the display will read “Event in Progress” at the top of the screen and the LED located in the center of the control arrows will maintain a steady red light for the duration of the period.
If you have an outdoor switch, you will need to go outside to inspect the device. A red LED will appear in the window of the outdoor switch throughout the conservation period.
AM I PERMITTED TO “OPT OUT” OF A CONSERVATION PERIOD?
All customers are permitted to opt out of up to two non-Priority Peak Days per season. Participants who wish to override a conservation period will need to call our Energy Wise Rewards Service Call Center at 1-866-353-5799. Remember, the automatic cycling of your Energy Wise Rewards device will lower your A/C energy use and help you earn $1.25 per kWh you save.
HOW DOES ENERGY WISE REWARDS BENEFIT MY COMMUNITY?
Our customers use more electricity during the summer season than at other times of the year. As the area grows and more new and existing customers install central air conditioners, demand for electricity reaches higher and higher peaks in the summer, putting a strain on the power system. Participating in Energy Wise Rewards is a way for all of us to avoid paying for the construction of new power plants built primarily to operate only during times of very high electricity demand for a handful of hours per year.
HOW DOES ENERGY WISE REWARDS KEEP ENERGY RATES LOW?
Demand for electricity in our area is rapidly rising. During the “peak demand” times of summer, Energy Wise Rewards works to reduce electricity usage throughout the region, averting power outages. This reduces the need to build costly, new electrical infrastructure that can drive up rates, and reduces the amount of fossil fuel bought and burned to generate power to satisfy demand.
HOW DOES ENERGY WISE REWARDS HELP THE ENVIRONMENT?
Reducing the use of fossil fuels reduces greenhouse gas emissions. By reducing electricity demand during a conservation period, Energy Wise Rewards also reduces emissions by averting the need for production of additional electricity. When load is highest and supplies are strained, the least efficient power plants must be brought into operation to meet demand or outages become likely. Lower efficiency electricity production also generally equates with higher emissions. The Energy Wise Rewards approach reduces the urgency in building additional power lines and power stations, thereby preserving our natural environment.
ABOUT YOUR THERMOSTAT INSTALLATION
DO I HAVE TO SIGN ANYTHING?
Prior to installation, our technician will ask you to sign a service order authorizing the installation of your new equipment.
HOW CAN MY PROGRAMMABLE THERMOSTAT SAVE 10% ANNUALLY ON MY COOLING AND HEATING COSTS?
The energy saving benefits of programmable thermostats has been explored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). According to the DOE, depending on usage patterns and how effectively you program the thermostat, it is possible to save as much as 10% on home cooling and heating costs, assuming winter set backs and summer set forwards when the home is empty.
FACT VS. FICTION
Fiction: “The Energy Wise Rewards programmable thermostat will allow Pepco to change my home temperature over the Internet.”
Fact: You – and only you – have control of temperature settings. Pepco can only send a radio signal to cycle your A/C compressor during a conservation period. Nothing more.
Fiction: “I need an Internet connection to participate in Energy Wise Rewards.”
Fact: You only need a central air conditioner or heat pump to participate. Both the outdoor switch and the programmable thermostat receive radio signals to begin a conservation period. This is unrelated to the Internet.
Fiction: “I already have a programmable thermostat, so there’s no reason for me to participate in Energy Wise Rewards.”
Fact: Everyone’s participation contributes to the community. If you already have a programmable thermostat, we can still install an outdoor switch near your A/C unit to receive our radio signal for conservation periods. We can all participate in reducing the risk of future power outages and helping to keep energy costs down.
Fiction: “If I participate in this program, I will use more electricity getting my house back to the setting I like when the conservation period ends (i.e., my A/C will work ‘harder’).”
Fact: Participating in Energy Wise Rewards will result in less overall energy use by your air conditioning equipment during the day of a conservation period. Yes, your system is likely to operate continuously at its full output once the conservation period is over, until the temperature sensed by the thermostat matches your chosen set point temperature. However, generally when this occurs, the outside air is a bit cooler than during the event. Therefore, the decreased air temperature should allow the unit to operate less strenuously than it would have performed during the hottest period of the day. So, although your system will use more energy immediately after an event than it normally would use at that time of day, your system will have used less energy during the prior hour(s). The difference in energy use between the two periods should result in a net energy savings.