Program participation details

On hot summer days, energy demand increases because thousands of customers are using their air conditioning units. PG&E may remotely activate SmartAC devices on those days in order to help maintain adequate power supplies and avoid power interruptions.


If you’re a SmartRate™ participant, on SmartRate™ event days, your SmartAC™ device(s) are activated under the SmartRate™ program guidelines. SmartAC is free and automated. It can also help make event days more successful by helping to prevent power interruptions.


Event season: SmartAC™ events occur between May 1 and October 31.


Event length: SmartAC events Days can be as short as an hour or two and no more than six hours in a day.


Participants must have standard central air conditioners and/or heat pumps.


Visit SmartAC™ program participation

SmartAC technology and activation

SmartAC™ technology will be installed free of charge by a certified technician and maintained at no cost to the customer as long as you are a participant in the SmartAC program.


SmartAC™ switch technology will be installed on or near the outside compressor component of participant’s air conditioning (AC) unit. Participants must have standard central air conditioners and/or heat pumps.


PG&E may remotely activate SmartAC™ device(s) in anticipation of a state or local energy emergency to help maintain adequate power supplies and avoid widespread power interruptions.


During a SmartAC™ event (or SmartDay™ event for SmartRate™ participants), your device will be remotely activated and your air conditioner will run slightly less than it normally would.


Residential participants with SmartAC™ switch technology may experience no more than 50 percent reduction in the air conditioner’s average run time.


During a SmartAC™ event, if your thermostat calls for the air conditioner to make cool air, your AC will ignore that signal for approximately 15 out of 30 minutes. At all other times, the AC will respond normally, and make cool air.


Opt out policy

With the exception of extreme energy emergencies, where rotating outages may occur, participants may call a SmartAC™ representative at 1-866-908-4916 and opt-out of an event for the day, without penalty. The AC will be returned to its previous operational setting.