SmartAC™ Frequently Asked Questions

I Want to Enroll in SmartAC

  • Nothing. Not a cent. SmartAC technology and installation are provided free of cost. You will receive $50 from PG&E after installation of a SmartAC device.
  • If a local or state emergency is anticipated – also referred to a s “a SmartAC Event Day” – your device will be remotely activated and your air conditioner compressor will cycle on and off in short increments totaling no more than 15 minutes of every half hour. The best part is that your air conditioner fan continues to circulate cool air that is already in your home.
  • SmartAC Event Days and system tests are pretty infrequent, last as little as two hours and never more than six.
  • The SmartAC program is triggered only during energy supply emergencies, or system reliability testing.
  • SmartAC devices are only activated May 1 – October 31.
  • Due to the nature of energy supply emergencies, PG&E cannot provide advance notice or warning of SmartAC event days. However we do post SmartAC activation on the PG&E homepage and SmartAC homepage on the day of events.
  • FREE technical support of your air conditioning system as long as you are a customer in the SmartAC Program. If you have a problem with your system, please CALL US FIRST at 1-866-908-4916. We’ll troubleshoot to determine whether the SmartAC device is the cause of your problem. If we determine that the problem is not related to the SmartAC device, we will recommend that you consult with your service company.
  • You reduce the likelihood of power outages and help the environment – all without sacrificing comfort or control.
  • As California’s population rises, the demand for energy increases. By joining the SmartAC program, you can help reduce your electricity usage when the demand approaches capacity.
  • By generating less electricity from fossil fuel plants during peak periods, fewer greenhouse gases are produced and that means cleaner air for all of us.
  • You will continue to be notified of SmartDays™. Seven to ten days after installation of your SmartAC device, your SmartAC and SmartRate accounts will be linked - allowing your air conditioner to automatically cycle on SmartDays. This means your air conditioner will run at a slightly lower capacity, and help you meet your SmartRate savings goals. Please note that on SmartDays you can save even more if you manually raise the temperature on your thermostat by a few degrees.
  • Participating in the SmartAC program won’t compromise comfort or control. In a recent survey, most SmartAC participants didn’t even notice when activation had occurred.
  • If activation occurs at an inconvenient time, you can opt out for the day, online or via phone at 1-866-908-4916.*
  • The SmartAC device is activated only from May 1 through October 31.
  • Air conditioners are one of the biggest users of electrical energy. If you also participate in PG&E's SmartRate Summer Pricing Plan, and you opt out on a SmartDay, you may not see the benefit of the SmartRate plan.
  • Since the SmartAC program only slightly changes the amount of energy your AC uses, it isn’t likely you’ll see savings.  If savings is your goal, you might want to consider joining the SmartRate Summer Pricing Program.

SmartAC Switch

  • The free SmartAC switch is installed on or near the outside of your air conditioning unit.
  • This installation does not typically require an appointment if your AC unit is accessible and not guarded by a pet.
  • When the SmartAC switch is activated, your air conditioner cycles at about half its normal rate, approximately 15 minutes out of each half-hour for no more than six hours. The fan runs normally, continuing to move air throughout your home. Enroll Now.
  • SmartAC technology works with standard central air conditioners and heat pumps.
  • To participate, a SmartAC device must be connected to all air conditioners on the premises.
  • Evaporative/swamp coolers, window and wall units are not eligible for the program.
  • You probably won't even notice when your SmartAC device is activated, but you can always opt out for the day, without penalty.*
  • Just contact PG&E at 1-866-908-4916 or login to restore your air conditioner to its previous setting.
  • You must be a PG&E electricity customer.
  • You must have a central air conditioning unit or heat pump in suitable operating condition. Home with window units, wall units or evaporative coolers do not qualify.
  • You must be the homeowner or have the homeowner’s written permission to participate in SmartAC.
  • You must not be on PG&E’s Medical Baseline program.
  • If you are a renter, you must have your landlord, owner or property manager’s permission to install SmartAC. Download the owner permission form.

I Am Enrolled in SmartAC

  • If a local or state emergency is anticipated – also referred to as “a SmartAC Event Day” – your device will be remotely activated and your air conditioner compressor will cycle on and off in short increments totaling no more than 15 minutes of every half hour. The best part is that your air conditioner fan continues to circulate cool air that is already in your home.
  • SmartAC Event Days and system tests are pretty infrequent, last as little as two hours and never more than six.
  • The SmartAC program is triggered only during energy supply emergencies, or system reliability testing.
  • SmartAC devices are only activated May 1 – October 31.
  • Due to the nature of energy supply emergencies, PG&E cannot provide advance notice or warning of SmartAC event days. However we do post SmartAC activation on the PG&E homepage and SmartAC homepage on the day of events.
  • FREE technical support of your air conditioning system as long as you are a customer in the SmartAC Program. If you have a problem with your system, please CALL US FIRST at 1-866-908-4916. We’ll troubleshoot to determine whether the SmartAC device is the cause of your problem. If we determine that the problem is not related to the SmartAC device, we will recommend that you consult with your service company.
  • You reduce the likelihood of power outages and help the environment – all without sacrificing comfort or control.
  • Participating in the SmartAC program won’t compromise comfort or control. In a recent survey, most SmartAC participants didn’t even notice when activation had occurred.
  • If activation occurs at an inconvenient time, you can opt out for the day, online or via phone at 1-866-908-4916.*
  • The SmartAC device is activated only from May 1 through October 31.
  • Air conditioners are one of the biggest users of electrical energy. If you opt out of the SmartAC automatic cycling on a SmartDay you may not see the benefit of the SmartRate plan.
  • Since the SmartAC program only slightly changes the amount of energy your AC uses, it isn’t likely you’ll see savings.  If savings is your goal, you might want to consider joining the SmartRate Summer Pricing Program.
  • Once your SmartAC and SmartRate accounts are linked, your air conditioner will automatically cycle on SmartDays. This means your air conditioner will run at a slightly lower capacity, and help you meet your SmartRate savings goals. Please note that on SmartDays you can save even more if you manually raise the temperature on your thermostat by a few degrees.
  • SmartAC Event Days: From May 1 through October 31 you may experience a SmartAC Event day. On this day PG&E automatically sends a signal to your device for your air conditioner to cycle for as little two hours, but never more than six hours. SmartAC events are usually called on the hotter days of the season, PG&E will post activations of a SmartAC Event day by 11 a.m. on the day of the event at www.pge.com, or you can call 1-866-908-4916. On SmartAC event days, your rate doesn’t charge like it does on SmartRate SmartDay events.
  • SmartRate SmartDay Events: From May 1 through October 31 you will experience SmartDays up to 15 times per season. On SmartDays, your rate is higher from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. PG&E will notify you one business day prior to a SmartDay event. This way you can decide how to shift or reduce your energy use during those hours. PG&E will automatically send a signal to your air conditioner's SmartAC device so you can count on using less power between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. To save even more, consider raising your thermostat by a few degrees.
  • If you do opt out of AC Cycling on a SmartDay event, your energy use will be charged the higher rate. Note that often - but not always - SmartDays and SmartAC Event Days are concurrent. To learn even more about SmartRate, see the SmartRate FAQs.
  • Due to the nature of energy supply emergencies, we can only notify customers the day of an event (usually after 11 a.m.). You can visit www.pge.com to see if there are any notifications of an event for that day.
  • You probably won't even notice when SmartAC technology is activated, but you can always opt out for the day, without penalty.*
  • Just contact us at 1-866-908-4916 or login to restore your air conditioner to its previous setting.
  • Opting out only last for 24 hour periods, and are reset at 12 a.m. midnight of that day.
  • Opt outs become available every night at midnight, and have no effect for Event Days in the future.
  • You probably won't even notice when SmartAC technology is activated, but you can always opt out for the day, without penalty.*
  • Just contact PG&E at 1-866-908-4916 or login to restore your air conditioner to its previous setting.
  • No. Once you are enrolled in SmartAC, you are enrolled until you move, are placed on Medical Baseline, or if you specifically contact PG&E to unenroll in the program. The PG&E incentive is only available once.
  • If, for whatever reason, you need to end your participation in the SmartAC program, you can call us at 1-866-908-4916 and we will disable your SmartAC device so that it will no longer be activated during a local or state energy emergency.
  • If you ever decide to join the SmartAC program again, just call us to re-activate your SmartAC device.
SmartAC Welcome Kit
  • For emergencies the help line is available seven days a week, 24 hours a day: 1-866-908-4916. Routine questions are answered Monday thru Saturday 8 a.m. - 9 p.m. PT.
  • This shows the dates and duration for which your device has received “event day” signals. It does not indicate actual load shed.
  • You will need to logon. On the left hand side there is a link for “Cycle History.”
  • Find the device that matches the device in your home, and click “details” link to the right of that photo.
  • For emergencies the help line is available seven days a week, 24 hours a day: 1-866-908-4916. Routine questions are answered Monday thru Saturday 8 a.m. - 9 p.m. PT.
  • First, if you have ANY issues with your AC, be sure to call us first at 1-866-908-4916. We’ll troubleshoot the problem to determine if the SmartAC device is the cause of your problem. If we determine that the problem is not related to the SmartAC device, we will recommend that you consult your service company.
  • If you are having a medical emergency during an event day (or any time) call 911 immediately.

Please click on the device PG&E issued you at time of sign up for more detailed information:

Switch for Your Home

SmartAC Switch 

UtilityPro Thermostat

UtilityPro Thermostat

ExpressStat Thermostat

ExpressStat Thermostat

SmartAC Customers

SmartAC Newsletter

Customers enrolled in both SmartAC and SmartRate™

SmartAC Dual Enrollment Newsletter

* The ability to opt out for the day may not be available in the event of an extreme emergency.

For any further program questions or comments, please email SmartAC@pge.com.

 

Join Today

  • Join Today Letter

    SmartAC Program benefits include:
    • Financial incentive after installation.
    • Maintain control over your comfort and participation.
    • Help prevent summer power interruptions while staying comfortable.
    Enroll Now

SmartAC Account

SmartAC Tech Support

  • SmartAC Tech Support

    Contact your PG&E Account Representative or call PG&E at
    1-866-908-4916 or email us