Summer heat puts an extra strain on everything, and the electric grid is no exception. To prevent heat-related equipment outages, Pacific Gas & Electric has introduced a program to reduce energy consumption on hot days.
The program gives incentives to customers to cut their energy usage between the peak hours of 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on "Smart Days."
Those customers are then rewarded with 20 percent lower rates from June through September.
Brandi Ehlers is with the utility company.
"They can reduce their rate from June through September in exchange for minimizing electricity use on up to 15 Smart Days, and those days are when electric rates are higher from 2 to 7 p.m.," says Ehlers.
Customers who sign up for the plan can opt-out at any time. PG&E also offers a Bill Protection program for the first summer of the program that will refund the difference if Smart Rate customers get higher bills than they got in previous summers.