Learn about SmartAC thermostats
The SmartAC program rewards you for being more flexible with your smart thermostat schedule. By adjusting your thermostat schedule so your AC uses less energy during the most high-demand hours, and coordinating your energy use with thousands of others’, we can help prevent power interruptions while keeping you comfortable.
Enjoy the benefits
- Enroll with a smart thermostat you already have and receive $75; or get $120 off a new smart thermostat
- Get $25 at the end of each season for being enrolled in the program, through 2023
Find out if you’re eligible
To participate you must:
- Be a PG&E electric service customer with at least one Wi-Fi enabled smart thermostat
- Have a Wi-Fi network that is always on
- Have a central air conditioner connected to an eligible smart thermostat
- Not be enrolled in another PG&E or third-party energy incentive program
There is a limit of one enrollment reward per household.
Determine how you can enroll
Do you need to purchase a new smart thermostat?
Get $120 off a smart thermostat when you are on a Time-of-Use rate plan.
PURCHASE A NEW THERMOSTAT AND ENROLL NOW
Frequently asked questions
What is SmartAC thermostats?
PG&E rewards you for being more flexible with your smart thermostat schedule. As a SmartAC participant, you help make the energy grid more reliable for everyone—and you’ll get $120 off a new smart thermostat if you’re on a Time-of-Use rate plan, or a $75 Virtual Prepaid Mastercard when you enroll with your existing thermostat, plus another $25 for each summer you participate through 2023.
Here’s how it works: on very hot days, thousands of air conditioners running at once can put a strain on the grid. On days when PG&E anticipates there will be a high demand for energy, SmartAC will schedule an event day. This means we’ll shift some of your energy use out of the hours when lots of people are using their air conditioning. We’ll do this by working with your thermostat to keep your home comfortable all day, while being more flexible about when your home is cooled.
By adjusting your thermostat schedule so your AC uses less energy during the most high-demand hours, and coordinating your energy use with thousands of others’, we can help prevent power interruptions while keeping you comfortable.
Why should I join the SmartAC program?
By joining SmartAC, you’re helping us create a cleaner, more reliable energy grid. You’ll get $120 off a new smart thermostat that you can use in SmartAC if you’re on a Time-of-Use rate plan, or a $75 Virtual Prepaid Mastercard® when you sign up with your existing smart thermostat, plus an additional $25 at the end of each summer you participate through 2023. And thanks to smart technology, participating is easy! During event days, PG&E will shift your air conditioning use and keep your home cool without you having to do a thing.
What if I don’t have a smart thermostat?
If you don’t have a qualifying smart thermostat, you can get $120 off a new smart thermostat on the SmartAC Store.
What makes a smart thermostat so smart?
A smart thermostat is a Wi-Fi enabled device that automatically adjusts your home’s heating and cooling. You can “set it and forget it” for greater ease of use and convenience, while saving energy. Some models allow for remote monitoring and control from your mobile phone, tablet or laptop, or wherever you happen to be.
According to ENERGY STAR, heating and cooling your home can cost up to $900 a year. A smart thermostat can save energy and money by maintaining recommended temperatures.
What rewards do I get for participating?
You’ll receive $25 at the end of every summer (if you are still enrolled on 10/31) for participating. Promotion valid through 2023.
Will SmartAC help me save on my bill?
The goal of the SmartAC program is not necessarily to use less electricity, but to shift when you use electricity to hours when it is less in demand. This shift helps us rely more on cleaner, more efficient energy sources, and it helps ensure there’s a reliable energy supply for everyone.
However, installing and programming a smart thermostat can save you energy and money (compared to a standard or programmable thermostat). If you don’t have a smart thermostat, or haven’t properly programmed yours, buying and programming one can improve your energy efficiency.
How does SmartAC help the environment?
When demand for electricity is high, energy providers sometimes need to turn to less environmentally friendly power sources to accommodate everyone’s needs. The SmartAC program can help the environment by limiting the need to turn to those less environmentally friendly sources to meet electricity demand on very hot days.
How do I sign up?
If you already have an eligible smart thermostat, check the eligibility requirements in the FAQ below and sign up.
If you do not yet have a smart thermostat:
- Head to the SmartAC Store
- Find a qualifying thermostat
- Enroll in the program
When will my rewards arrive?
You will receive your rewards after we process your enrollment. After you apply, the SmartAC Program Team will verify your eligibility for the program and contact you if we have any questions. You’ll receive an email when your enrollment is complete.
Your Virtual Prepaid Mastercard® will be sent to the email you provided through the enrollment application (if you have a Sensi thermostat), or the email associated with your thermostat account (if you have a Nest or ecobee thermostat). The email should arrive within 2 to 4 weeks after your enrollment application has been processed.
Your $25 Virtual Prepaid Mastercard will be sent after the summer in November.
What’s the difference between SmartAC and eco+?
If you have an ecobee thermostat, SmartAC will work with the eco+ Community Energy Savings function on your thermostat to keep your home comfortable while shifting your energy use during event days. When you first sign up for the SmartAC program, you'll use the ecobee app to sign up through eco+. After you create your thermostat schedule, SmartAC will work together with eco+ to learn your preferences and keep you comfortable during event days.
What’s the difference between SmartAC and Nest Rush Hour Rewards?
If you have a Google Nest thermostat, SmartAC works with Nest’s Rush Hour Rewards. When you first sign up for the SmartAC program, you’ll go through an enrollment for Rush Hour Rewards. After you create your thermostat settings, SmartAC will work together with Nest behind the scenes to learn your preferences and keep you comfortable during event days.
Being a member of Rush Hour Rewards does not require any extra obligations or thermostat adjustments compared to SmartAC on its own.
How do I know if I am eligible to participate?
SmartAC thermostats run from June through October. To participate, you must:
- Be a PG&E residential electric customer with an eligible Wi-Fi enabled thermostat
- Have an always-on Wi-Fi network
- Have a central air conditioning unit or heat pump in suitable operating condition Homes with window units, wall units, or evaporative coolers do not qualify
- Not be a participant in another PG&E energy incentive program or with another smart thermostat energy management provider
Which thermostats are eligible?
The following thermostats are eligible for the program:
- Google Nest Thermostat
- Google Nest Learning Thermostat
- Google Nest Thermostat E
- ecobee3 Lite Thermostat
- ecobee Smart Thermostat With Voice Control
- Emerson Sensi Classic Smart Thermostat
- Emerson Sensi Touch Smart Thermostat With Color Touchscreen
If you do not yet have a qualifying smart thermostat, you can visit the SmartAC Store to get $120 off a smart thermostat and enroll in the program.
How do I install and program my smart thermostat?
Programming your thermostat creates a schedule that keeps you comfortable and also ensures that during event days, PG&E adjustments keep you within a few degrees of those scheduled temperatures.
The easiest way to program your Nest thermostat is using the Nest app. On some thermostat models, you can also create a schedule using the thermostat itself. See the Nest Support Page on thermostat temperature schedules for full instructions and tips on creating a schedule on your device.
You can create a schedule using the ecobee app or on the thermostat itself. Written step-by-step instructions are on the ecobee support page.
If you prefer video instructions, check out ecobee’s instructional video on programming your thermostat.
To create a schedule on your Sensi, use the Sensi app. Sensi’s website has an instructional video to explain the process of creating a schedule. Or, if you prefer written instructions, they can be found on page 5 of the Sensi App Navigation and Scheduling Guide.
What do I do if I'm having problems with my thermostat?
If you’re having trouble with your thermostat, or have questions about installation or use, contact your manufacturer’s customer support:
Nest Customer Support: 855-469-6378
ecobee Customer Support: 877-932-6233
Emerson Sensi Customer Support: 888-605-7131
Can I use my existing smart thermostat?
Yes! If you already have one of the eligible smart thermostats listed in the “Which thermostats are eligible?” FAQ above, you may enroll.
If you do not yet have a smart thermostat, you can visit the SmartAC Store to get $120 off a smart thermostat if you’re on a Time-of-Use rate plan and enroll in the program.
What is central air conditioning?
Central air conditioning is a system that works with your home’s duct system to take warm air, cool it, and then distribute it back into your home. An air conditioning unit that sits in your window, or a unit that is mounted on your wall or floor, is not central air conditioning.
SMARTAC TIME-OF-USE FEATURE FOR SENSI AND ECOBEE THERMOSTATS
What is the SmartAC Daily Savings Program?
Daily Savings offers participants of the SmartAC program the opportunity to get daily, customized thermostat adjustments that can help them manage their energy bills. It is available for customers who are on the Time-of-Use rate plans and have Sensi or ecobee thermostats installed at their home.
How does it work?
With Time-of-Use rate plans, electricity costs more at certain peak hours late in the day when demand is high, and less during lower-demand hours when renewable energy is more plentiful. This means you may save by shifting your energy use out of peak hours. That’s where Daily Savings comes in.
As a participant of the SmartAC program, you already use your smart thermostat to automatically shift your energy use on occasional hot summer days during SmartAC events. Daily Savings takes things to the next level, working with your thermostat to look for every day opportunities to save.
By making small adjustments every day to your regular schedule settings, it eases your energy use away from peak pricing hours while keeping you cool and comfortable.
The program is based off of your regular thermostat schedule keeping your comfort in mind, and most of your cooling on hot days is done at times when energy costs less.
How can I enroll in Daily Savings?
Daily Savings is currently only available to the SmartAC program participants who own Emerson Sensi or ecobee thermostats.
- If you are not yet a SmartAC member:
First, enroll your Sensi or ecobee in the SmartAC program. Once you’re enrolled in SmartAC and receive a welcome email confirming your enrollment has been processed, you can join Daily Savings. You’ll also receive an email inviting you to participate in Daily Savings after you sign up for SmartAC. If you try to enroll before your SmartAC enrollment has been processed, you will not be able to complete the opt-in to Daily Savings.
- If you are already a SmartAC member and have an ecobee smart thermostat:
- Open your ecobee app and click on My ecobee in the upper left.
- In the menu on the bottom right, select eco+. Not enrolled in eco+? Follow the steps in your app to sign up.
- Select your utility provider (Pacific Gas and Electric) and tap “Save utility provider".
- Select your home’s Time-of-Use rate plan from the options listed. If you don’t know your Time-of-Use rate plan, you can find it by checking your bill or logging in to your online account.
- Tap “Done".
- Sit back and let eco+ and Daily Savings optimize your energy use!
- If you are already a SmartAC member and have an Emerson Sensi smart thermostat:
- Visit the enrollment link at sensi.smartacpge.com/daily-savings. This link will also be included in the email inviting you to join Daily Savings.
- Select “enroll now,” and you’ll be brought to a page where you can select your thermostat brand.
- Select Sensi.
- Fill out the resulting form with your SmartAC information.
- Confirm your address. If we can’t find your account using your address, you will be prompted to enter your PG&E account number.
- Agree to the terms and conditions.
- You’re done! Read the confirmation message to find out when your daily adjustments will begin, then sit back and enjoy the savings!
Which thermostats are eligible to participate in Daily Savings?
Daily Savings is available for participants in the SmartAC program who own Sensi or ecobee smart thermostats.
Note: Unfortunately, Nest thermostats are not currently eligible for Daily Savings.
How can Daily Savings help me save?
Your energy rate changes depending on the time of day. Your Time-of-Use rate plan offers lower pricing during the majority of the day when costs to generate electricity are lower due to renewable energy, but costs more during peak pricing hours late in the afternoon/early evening.
- Hot summer days: June 1 through October 31
- Events typically last 2 to 3 hours and do not occur on holidays (except for emergencies)
- Optimize your smart thermostat to cool your home before an event
- Automatically adjust your thermostat to reduce your energy use during event hours
Opt out of a SmartAC event
To opt out of an event, simply change the setpoint on your thermostat or in the thermostat app.