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Frequently Asked Questions

Maybe you’re wondering if all your electricity shuts off in addition to your A/C (no), or if your A/C can be turned off more than once a day (yes), or if there’s a cost to join the Summer Discount Plan (no, it’s free). The answer to these FAQs and other questions are answered below. 

Summer Discount Plan FAQ

Do I need central air conditioning to join the Summer Discount Plan?

A. Yes, this program is available only to customers with a fully operational central A/C system. For your safety, in order to participate in an override option, all A/C units enrolled in the Summer Discount Plan must be installed on the ground.

When my A/C is shut off, will my electricity be entirely shut off?

A. No, only the A/C compressor will be shut off. The rest of your home will still have electricity and your indoor fan will still operate.

How will I know when my A/C has been shut off?

A. Take a look at the cycling device installed on or near your A/C unit if it is in a safe, easily accessible location. When your A/C has been shut off, you'll see a green LED light flashing. More information about energy events affecting your area online may be available.

Can my air conditioner be turned off more than once per day?

A. Yes, up to 6 hours a day.

What if I don’t use my air conditioner?

Beginning in 2017, all customers enrolled on SDP must meet a minimum usage requirement to remain eligible for the program. Your account must register the use of 1.5 kWh, one hour before or after, in at least one SDP event per calendar year. Failing to meet this minimum usage requirement is indicative of not operating the A/C before and after SDP event periods. Customers who do not meet this minimum usage requirement will be removed from the program and will not be allowed to re-enroll for one-year.

Why do I need to have an Edison SmartConnect® meter to enroll in SDP?

An Edison SmartConnect® meter enables SCE to evaluate your performance on the program by accessing at minimum, your hourly usage data during SDP event periods. To continue to participate in the SDP program, customers must meet the new minimum usage requirement established in 2017. The Edison SmartConnect® meter also enables SCE to verify valuable energy reduction during SDP event periods and it can provide SCE with information to help determine whether our load control device or your A/C are not functioning properly.

Can I cancel if I decide Summer Discount Plan isn’t working for me?

A. Yes, however, you are required to stay on the plan for at least a year from the date of activation of your cycling device. If, during that year, you, or someone in your household, develop a medical condition that disqualifies you from participating in the program, as substantiated by a medical provider, please call us at 1-800-497-2813.

Can I change my program option?

A. Yes, you may change your cycling (Maximum Savings vs. Maximum Comfort) and program option (Standard vs. Override) by using our online form or calling us at 1-800-497-2813.

Is there a cost to enroll in the Summer Discount Plan?

No, enrolling is free. We supply the cycling device and we have it installed on your home or central A/C unit, by our designated contractor, at no charge to you.

How much air conditioning do I have to use to get the most credit?

Your bill credits are not determined by how much you use your A/C. Instead, they are based on the calculated tonnage of your A/C and the option you select. Your credits cannot exceed the cost of distribution and generation charges on your bill.

Who is eligible for the override option?

For your safety, in order to participate in an override option, all A/C units enrolled in the Summer Discount Plan must be installed on the ground.

I’m enrolled in an Override option. How do I override an energy event?

Take a look at the cycling device installed on or near your A/C unit. When your A/C has been shut off, you'll see a green LED light flashing. If you also see a yellow LED light, you have remaining overrides to use. Simply press the button on the upper right hand corner of the device and your A/C compressor will turn back on within 10 minutes. Once you override an event, you will not have any more energy events for the remainder of the day.

I’m enrolled in an Override option. How do I know how many overrides I have left?

Confirm that no energy events are in progress (there should not be a green or yellow LED light flashing). If it is not an energy event day, press the “override” button on your cycling device and hold it for approximately 10 seconds. When you release, the red LED light will flash. Count the number of times it flashes; that’s how many overrides you have left.

If the program runs year-round, why do I get bill credits only between June 1 and October 1?

Energy events can occur at any time, year-round, but we anticipate that most will occur during the summer, when A/C usage is highest. We apply credits between June 1 and October 1 to help lower your bill during this time.

How do I enroll?

It’s easy. And the enrollment process will take just a few minutes. Please allow 4-6 weeks for the device to be installed. After the device is installed and after your next meter reading, the Summer Discount Plan will become active, and will be reflected on your monthly bills from June 1 to October 1.

PLEASE NOTE: No authorized SCE representative will ever ask you to pay for advice on how to save money or energy through our programs.

SDP Minimum Usage Eligibility Requirement FAQ

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 do not run their A/C. This action eliminates unnecessary spending. These savings can be reallocated to other programs or services that may benefit SCE customers. These savings can also be a way to help keep rates affordable for all customers.

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

SCE evaluated hourly energy usage information for multiple SDP event periods across multiple months and years for program participants and identified, those with usage consistently below 1.5 kWh in the hour before or after events were dispatched, did not provide energy load reduction. Non-A/C operation is the primary reason customers will not exhibit load reduction during SDP event periods. More so, customers with usage of 1.5 kWh or greater did exhibit energy load reduction. SCE concluded that 1.5 kWh is an accurate threshold to determine A/C and Non-A/C users.

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

Air Conditioners are not individually metered and 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 and is conservatively set by only requiring customers to meet the threshold once per calendar year in the hour before or after, during SDP event periods. 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 NEM/solar customers 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. Many customers met the minimum usage eligibility requirement in the late evening, once the sun set and much of the usage demand was transferred back to SCE’s electric power grid.

What about customers who run their A/C but the SDP device has stopped working?

SCE has a performance metric for A/C users (i.e., customers who meet the minimum usage eligibility requirement) but do not show energy load reduction during SDP event periods. SCE will perform mandatory site visits to inspect SDP devices and address any issues such as, inoperable, disconnected or missing devices. Customers who tamper (disconnect) with their SDP device are subject to removal from the program without warning.

Can I monitor my performance toward meeting the SDP minimum usage eligibility requirement?

Yes. My Account users can monitor their home’s performance towards meeting SCE’s Summer Discount Plan (SDP) Minimum Usage Eligibility Requirement. Download our step-by-step guide to learn how.

If you’re not a My Account user, click here to register.

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

Customer who do not meet the minimum usage eligibility requirement at least once per calendar year, in the hour before or hour after SDP events, will be removed from the program and will not be allowed to re-enroll for one-year.

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