AC Saver

Summer in San Diego means the temperature is rising and the kids are home from school, which can put more demand on our system to make energy. That means higher prices and increased risk of outages—but if you help us save money when the cost of energy is high, you can earn a credit on your bill.

How it Works

After you sign up, we install a AC Saver device on your central air conditioning unit at no cost. On select summer days, when electricity is at its peak, we activate the AC Saver device to cycle your central air conditioner "on and off" for a period of two to four hours.
 
AC Saver events are activated April through October. Events may be called for a total of up to 80 hours during the months of April through October, and they can be called every day of the week (excluding holidays). If you are currently enrolled in AC Saver, you can sign up for Event Notifications or update your contact information here.

Choose from Two Options

50% cycling

  • Your air conditioning run-time is reduced by 50 percent of the hour previous to the conservation period.

  • You’ll receive an annual bill credit of up to $41.40. Your credit is based on the size (ton) of your A/C unit.  For example, if you have a 4-ton unit, your credit is $41.40 ($10.35/ton). See the FAQs below for information on tonnage.

100% cycling

  • Your air conditioning is turned off for the entire duration of the conservation period (up to 4 hours).

  • You’ll receive a $108 annual bill credit for each A/C (Monday - Sunday, excluding holidays). Your credit is based on the size (ton) of your A/C unit. For example, if you have a 4-ton unit, your credit is $108 ($27/ton). See the FAQs below for information on tonnage.

  • A good choice for those who want the maximum bill credit and can tolerate warmer temperatures during the conservation period.

Questions or to See If You Qualify

If you have questions or would like to see if you qualify, call Itron at 1-800-850-1705.

Not all participants will begin and end a conservation event at the same time. Actual start and end times may vary by 30 minutes.

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 1 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 one 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 on 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 October 1, 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 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.

If you are not satisfied, you can request to leave the AC Saver program option at anytime, at no cost. Just call the AC Saver Customer Care Center at 800-850-1705.