AC Saver (Summer Saver)

 

With SDG&E’s AC Saver program, you can save energy and earn money by installing an AC Saver device on your air conditioning unit. Using less energy helps ensure public safety and puts energy back on the grid in your community.

Residential Air Conditioning

How It Works

AC Saver is a voluntary demand response program available to all customers with air conditioner (AC) units installed at their premise with SDG&E approved technology capable of curtailing the customers’ AC unit. After signing up for the AC Saver program, we install a device on your central air conditioning unit at no cost. On select hot days, when conservation is needed, we activate the device to cycle your central air conditioner "on and off" for a period of two to four hours.

The program runs April through October and activations may be called every day of the week, but only up to 25 events may be called with five events being reserved for emergency use only.

Plan Eligibility

This schedule is available to customers with air conditioner units installed at their premise with SDG&E approved technology capable of curtailing the customers’ AC unit and receiving Bundled Utility Service and billed by the Utility. It is also available to Direct Access (DA) and Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) customers. 

How to Sign Up;

  • To see if you qualify or to learn more about the AC Saver Program, call Itron, our technology provider at 1-800-850-1705.
  • Once you receive confirmation that you qualify for enrollment, you’ll be able to choose one of two options that best fits your needs: 

50% cycling 

  • With 50% cycling, your air conditioning will run half the time that it ran in the hour before the conservation period. When the conservation period is over your air conditioning will return to normal operation under the control of your thermostat.
  • Receive $10.35 per ton bill credit for each A/C unit.  

100% cycling

  • With 100% cycling, your air conditioning is turned off for the entire duration of the conservation period (up to 4 hours). The temperature increase will vary by type of residence.  If you’re at home, you’ll probably notice the increase.
  • Receive $27.00 per ton bill credit for each A/C unit.  

Frequently Asked Questions

The AC Saver device is a small, wireless box mounted near your central air conditioning unit. It operates with central air conditioning systems and is not designed for room A/C units or small space units.

While the AC Saver device works with most central air conditioning systems, there are some systems that are not recommended to be operated with these devices. These include central air conditioners with communications boards, integrated environmental controls, energy management systems, variable speed compressors, or special wiring. A trained AC Saver technician will carefully evaluate your unit’s compatibility before beginning any installation activities. If your unit is not compatible, you can’t participate in the AC Saver program.

On certain hot summer days, a remote signal is sent to activate the device, which then cycles the cooling function of your central A/C "on and off" for a period of 2 to 4 hours.

Yes. More than five million similar devices have been installed nationwide.

 

During normal operation your central air conditioning turns "on and off" based on your thermostat setting. This is called cycling.

Whenever there is a power emergency or critical peak demand, your AC Saver device will be activated for a conservation period of two to four hours. While your central air conditioner is in a conservation mode the run-time of the condenser (the cooling portion) will be reduced to save energy. However, your fan, which requires little energy to operate, continues to circulate air for added comfort.

50%: With 50% cycling, your air conditioning will run half the time that it ran in the hour before the conservation period. When the conservation period is over your air conditioning will return to normal operation under the control of your thermostat setting.

100%: With 100% cycling, your air conditioning is turned off for the duration of the conservation period. The temperature increase will vary by type of residence.  If you’re at home, you’ll probably notice the increase.

Tonnage is used to express the one-hour cooling capacity of air conditioners. One ton is 12,000 BTUs of cooling/hour. On average, one ton will cool from 400-700 square feet in a residential application.

Your bill credit is based on the tonnage of your system. At 50% cycling, you are paid $10.35 per ton.  For example, if you have a 4 -ton system, your credit would be $41.40. For 100% cycling, you are paid per $27 per ton. For a 4-ton system, you'd earn $108.

No. The device will not turn on your air conditioning unit in order to cycle. It is designed to only work with units that are operating during the conservation period.

Generally, within two weeks of signing up. A typical residential installation takes about 30 minutes provided the technician has access to your exterior A/C unit. You don't need to be present, but you may schedule an installation for a time when you will be home.

We have an agreement with a third-party, Itron They are responsible for installing, removing and servicing the wireless unit.

Participation in AC Saver begins the day your cycling device is installed. If your install occurs after September 15, you’ll receive a credit on your December SDG&E bill of the following year. The amount of your credit is based on the size of your A/C unit and the cycling option you choose.

You may change your cycling option any time prior to August 31st; your bill credit will be based on your cycling option as of October 31st. Between September 1st and October 31st, you may only decrease your level of participation (from 100% to 50%). If you enroll between September 1st and October 31st you will be enrolled at the 50% cycling option. You may opt out of the program at any time but will not receive any compensation for partial participation.

Yes. You can enroll one unit or as many units as you have. The AC Saver device can be installed on every working unit on your premise and your bill credit will reflect the total tonnage of all your air conditioning units.

It's quick and easy. Whether you want to upgrade your option to earn a higher bill credit or drop down to 50% cycling, you can make the change with just one phone call. Call the AC Saver Customer Care Center at 1-800-850-1705 and your request will be implemented in 48 hours. You may opt out of the program at any time but will not receive any compensation for partial participation.

The AC Saver program is a voluntary program and you can request to un-enroll at any time. However, if you leave the program early, you will not earn compensation for your participation. To un-enroll from the program call the AC Saver Customer Care Center at 1-800-850-1705.