Arizona utility APS has rolled out three new programs to incentivize customers to adopt advanced technologies in their homes and businesses to help harness an abundance of midday solar energy.
First, Cool Rewards allows residential customers to use their eligible smart thermostats to help shift energy use to off-peak hours. This program can help customers shift electricity use outside the higher-priced, on-peak hours of 3 to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday. Thermostats will be adjusted remotely up to 20 times per year to reduce usage during peak hours, and customers will retain full ability to override the adjusted settings. Customers will receive a $25 bill credit upon enrollment and a $25 bill credit annually for as long as they participate. All APS residential customers are eligible to participate in Cool Rewards, with the program enrolling up to 6,000 customers.
Next, Storage Rewards offers battery storage to customers on APS’ system. Residential customers will also receive a one-time participation award of $500 once they have been accepted to the program and the battery is activated. Customers also can benefit from additional possible savings from the use of the technology. When the program launches later this year, APS will install batteries on 40 residences in targeted areas.
Lastly, Reserve Rewards puts highly efficient electric water heaters in residential customers’ homes that can help them save money by using energy at midday when power costs less. Customers will own these water heaters, and the units will heat a home’s water when excess solar generation is available. APS will give customers an instant rebate for the full installed price of the equipment. Additionally, customers can save money over the lifetime of the unit. This program will launch later this year, and APS will provide rebates for about 200 grid-interactive water heaters in homes that are located in targeted areas.
“Our customers today want more than just reliable power; they want cutting-edge technology, and they want to know how to manage their energy use to best fit their lifestyle,” says Marc Romito, APS’ director of customer technology. “These programs offer that while also helping us learn more about how customers interact with different technologies to more efficiently use the renewable energy already on our grid.”