Smart Energy Program Frequently Asked Questions

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Save up to $115 with a Smart Thermostat 

Enroll your qualifying smart thermostat in our Smart Energy Program to get up to $115 in bill credits when you participate in program energy events.

How the Program Works

Once you’ve enrolled, the program is designed to take care of itself:

  • During an SCE energy event, we notify your smart thermostat provider to temporarily adjust the temperature setting on your thermostat up to four degrees higher to limit A/C usage in your home
  • You always can re-adjust the temperature during called events
  • Overriding the automated upward adjustment of your thermostat could affect your ongoing enrollment status
  • Read our Terms & Conditions, and SEP Disclaimer.

Frequently Asked Questions

A smart thermostat connects your heating and cooling systems to your smartphone, smart speaker, or other device. Depending on the thermostat, you can schedule your temperature settings, change the temperature remotely, and set reminders for scheduled maintenance. Some smart thermostats also use machine learning to understand your heating and cooling preferences and then adjust your settings based on those learnings.

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An SCE Energy Event is a designated time when SCE limits A/C usage in participating homes to reduce demand on the energy grid. Events can be called any time throughout the year but can't exceed more than six hours in one day. Multiple events can be called in one day, but the total cannot exceed a maximum of six hours per day.

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You can override an event by changing the temperature at the thermostat or through the mobile or web application that you regularly use for your thermostat. Depending on the thermostat you have, you may see a notice that an energy event is taking place but can still proceed with any adjustment. Keep in mind, that overriding all events dispatched in a calendar year may affect your enrollment in the program. 

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SCE does not have direct access to your thermostat. Participation in the program is adminstered through our authorized thermostat service providers in partnership with qualifying thermostat manufacturers. By participating in the program, SCE may receive thermostat details through our authorized thermostat service provider for the purposes of fulfilling your obligation on the program. This includes, but is not limited to, thermostat brand, model, serial number, online connectivity status (e.g., online/offline), and participation details during energy events. Such as thermostat mode (e.g., cool, heat, off) and whether your thermostat participated or opted-out during an energy event.

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SCE, its authorized thermostat service providers and participating thermostat manufacturers will protect personal information and usage data consistent with the terms and conditions of the program and each companies' privacy policy. SCE's Privacy Policy can be found at

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What is the purpose of the Smart Energy Program?

The Smart Energy Program is one of several Demand Response programs offered by SCE to help our customers lower their energy costs, while also contributing to the reliability of the grid.

Can I join the Smart Energy Program if I don’t have a central air conditioner?

No. Customers must have a qualifying smart thermostat set up to control a central A/C.

Can I cancel my enrollment at any time?

You can disenroll from the program at any time; however, please consider that this program does provide the option to override any event at any time. Overriding a few events during the year instead of disenrolling from the program is a win-win solution for all. You still can provide valuable energy reduction during periods where you may have greater flexibility with your A/C usage while continuing to earn bill credits on the program.

Can a customer enrolled in the Summer Discount Plan (SDP) enroll in the Smart Energy Program?

Customers cannot dual participate in both programs because both programs control the same energy load and can be called at the same time. SCE cannot double pay customers for the same load reduction.

How do I enroll?

Once you install a qualifying thermostat, you may sign up for the Smart Energy Program through one of our Qualified Smart Thermostat Service Providers (i.e. EnergyHub and Resideo). Visit to begin your enrollment process.

What triggers an energy event?

We may call an energy event in response to emergencies, overworked electrical grids, high wholesale energy prices, or as part of testing.

Will I know how long an event is supposed to last?

Your smart thermostat service provider should provide you with details of the event duration. SCE also offers an SCE DR Alerts Mobile App that can notify you anytime a Smart Energy Program event is activated. You can download the SCE DR Alerts Mobile App at no charge from the App Store® and Google Play store™. You can download this app at any time and configure the app to receive notices of Smart Energy Program events. 

Can SCE pre-cool my home?

In an effort to maximize your comfort during an energy event, SCE may in certain instances precool your home for up to one-hour prior to the start of an energy event by adjusting the temperature setpoint on your thermostat down by 2-degrees. Customers enrolled in a Time-Of-Use rate may not receive pre-cooling during peak hours to help avoid peak hour charges. Alternatively, you may manually pre-cool your home at any time.

How do I recycle my old thermostat?

Your old thermostat may contain mercury, a potentially hazardous material, and shouldn’t be thrown in your typical trash or recycle bins. Instead, recycle your thermostat at an approved collection site and get a $30 rebate. 

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Why does SCE need to have a minimum usage eligibility requirement?

Establishing a minimum usage eligibility requirement helps improve the effectiveness of the program by identifying and removing customers who are not able to demonstrate A/C usage reduction. The Smart Energy Program rewards customers who show A/C reduction when there is a need to conserve energy. These savings can be reallocated to other programs or services that may benefit SCE customers.

How did SCE determine the minimum usage eligibility requirement of 1.5 kWh?

SCE has evaluated hourly energy usage information for customers with air conditioning enrolled in a demand response program.  SCE identified that customers with usage consistently below 1.5 kWh in the hour before or after events were dispatched, did not provide energy load reduction. Customers with usage of 1.5 kWh or greater do exhibit energy load reduction. SCE concluded that 1.5 kWh is an accurate threshold to determine A/C usage reduction.

Does SCE only evaluate the energy usage from my A/C?

Air Conditioners are not individually metered. Therefore, SCE must rely on whole house usage data to evaluate performance towards the minimum usage eligibility requirement. SCE considers this fact to have no negative impact on customers with regard to evaluating performance towards the minimum usage eligibility requirement.

My neighbor has a larger A/C unit than I do, why do we have the same minimum usage eligibility requirement?

SCE did not deem it necessary to establish different minimum usage eligibility requirements per customer. The 1.5 kWh minimum usage eligibility requirement is an accurate metric for A/C usage reduction determination and is conservatively set by only requiring customers to meet the threshold once per calendar year in the hour before or after, during energy events. If customers do run the A/C in the hour before or hour after an event, meeting the 1.5 kWh usage threshold should not be an issue.

Do customers participating in the Net Energy Metering (NEM) program have a different minimum usage eligibility requirement?

The analysis which established the minimum usage eligibility requirement of 1.5 kWh did not reveal a concern with NEM customers. SCE anticipates the NEM customers with A/C usage reduction will meet the minimum usage eligibility requirement in the late evening, once the sun sets and much of the usage demand is transferred back to SCE’s electric power grid.

What happens if I do not meet the minimum usage eligibility requirement?

Customers who do not meet the minimum usage eligibility requirement at least once in a calendar year, in the hour before or hour after energy events, will be removed from the program and must wait one year to re-enroll into SEP again.

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How will I know I was approved for the sign-up bonus?

SCE will send an email to all customers who successfully enroll in the Smart Energy Program indicating whether or not they qualify for the $75 sign-up bonus.

How will the $75 sign-up bonus reflect on the bill?

The sign up bonus is displayed as an “Enabling Technology Incentive” within the “Your Account Summary” section of the bill.

Why do I get the daily bill credit rate of $0.3275 only from June 1 through September 30?

Energy events can occur at any time, year-round. We anticipate that most will occur during the summer when A/C usage is highest. We apply for the bill credits from June 1 through September 30 to help lower your bill during this time. 

Where can I find my Smart Energy Program bill credits?

Program bill credits are provided during summer season months from June 1 through September 30 and are displayed as “Smart Energy Program Credit” within the “Details of your new charges” section of the bill. 

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