During the hottest summer days when air conditioning use is at its highest, some utilities offer rebates and monthly credits through programs that help reduce strain on the electrical grid. By allowing the utility to remotely raise your smart thermostat a few degrees for short periods of time, you help them make sure they have enough electricity for everyone on the hottest days of the year.
Why should I care?
These optional programs offer you great opportunities to save money on cooling costs with minimal impact on your home’s comfort. By participating in one of these programs, you could save as much as 15 percent on your electric bills throughout the summer, even if the utility never actually activates the program. Check out your local utilities program for specific savings details.
In Minnesota, such programs are usually active between June and September. Utilities can adjust your thermostat a few degrees for short intervals during the hottest daylight hours. Previously cooled air will typically continue to cycle through your home during the control intervals, so most people don't even notice when the program is active.
How much will it cost?
Most programs are free and will save you money! Some may require that you install a smart or programmable thermostat if your home does not already have one. Xcel Energy offers two programs in Minnesota:
Both programs are free to enroll and will help you save money on electric bills.
Xcel Energy Saver's Switch
By participating in our Saver's Switch program, you'll help Xcel Energy manage peaks by cutting back just a little on the time your central air works to cool your home.