The Omaha Public Power District wants to help customers stay cool this summer by making smart energy choices.
Power Forward solutions, a portfolio of demand-side management programs, are helping customers manage their electric use while working toward the district’s goal of shedding 300 megawatts (MW) of peak demand by 2023.
Peak demand occurs on the hottest days of the summer, when air conditioners are working the hardest. Reducing the need for electricity at these times reduces the need to build another power plant. That helps keep rates low for all customers.
One of OPPD’s Power Forward programs is Cool Smart. So far, 42,000 customers are actively participating in this air conditioning management program, and they’re getting paid to do so. This is helping to reduce the district’s peak energy usage by 60 MW. (For perspective, an average hospital uses about 8 MW.)
Here’s how Cool Smart works:
- OPPD attaches a free outdoor device to your home on the siding or brick nearest to the air conditioning unit or heat pump.
You receive $50 in the first year alone. This includes a $30 bill credit just for signing up and another $20 the first year, and every year of participation. The annual credit will appear on your September bill.
- Most days, nothing will happen. But on very hot days, when electricity demand is at its highest, the device will run your AC or heat pump in 15-minute intervals (on for 15, off for 15) for 2½ hours, between 3 and 7 p.m. Our customers’ comfort is a top priority. Most Cool Smart customers who were surveyed didn’t even realize when a management event had occurred.
- AC management is never used on holidays or weekends. And, you can opt out any two days of the year with 24-hours’ notice.
Power Forward also includes our popular HVAC Smart rebate program. OPPD offers rebates for purchasing qualifying high-efficiency air conditioning or heat pump systems.
Here’s how HVAC Smart works:
- Rebates are based upon an HVAC system’s Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) rating. The higher the SEER rating, the more energy efficient the system is. Check with your HVAC contractor on how to qualify.
- $250 for a SEER rating of 15+
- $350 for a SEER rating of 16+
- (includes geothermal heat pumps)
- Rebate application should be submitted by your heating and cooling contractor.
For more energy-saving tips and tools and answers to your energy-related questions, visit oppd.com/EnergyAdvisor.