Recent Hot Summer Rebates Questions and Answers
As of May 1, 2012
Q-What are Hot Summer Rebates?
A-This is a pilot program funded by the US Department of Energy (DOE) Smart Grid Demonstration Grant Program to see if members of Flint Energies can use energy information to reduce their own usage during hot summer afternoons in 2012 and 2013. U.S. Department of Energy.
Q-Who is eligible for Hot Summer Rebates?
A-Generally, residential members with 200-amp services at their homes.
Q-Why is Flint conducting this study?
A-This pilot program will be used to collect data to see the impact of rebates for members who decrease their electricity usage during times of peak system demand and high hourly energy prices.
Q-How many participants will be chosen?
A-148 in two test groups and another 148 in a control group.
Q-What will Test 1 group receive?
A-Test 1 Group will receive IHD (In Home Device) to be notified of peak days/peak hours. They will also receive notification by e-mail, text, etc. and they are eligible for potential rebates.
Q-What will Test 2 group receive?
A-Test 2 Group will receive notification by e-mail, text, etc. and they are eligible for potential rebates.
Q-I already have a load management switch at my home. How does that affect me?
A-Members in both test groups with load management switches will have switches de-activated during study, but they will still earn the $25 load management participation credit in October.
Q-Will every volunteer be selected for the project?
A-Every member who volunteers did not qualify for the pilot project.
Q-What does the participant earn?
A-Selected members will receive rebate credits to their Flint accounts for energy use reduction during critical peak hours.
Q-How will Flint figure my rebate payment?
A-Rebate payments will be based on the amount of load reduction as compared to a calculated baseline usage level.
Q-How will I know it’s a peak day?
A-On scheduled “Hot Summer” afternoons, Flint Energies will notify program members in several ways.
Q-When will the peaks occur?
A-From 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. any day of the week.
Q-How can I save money?
A-While Flint’s normal residential rate is 9.5 cents per kilowatt-hour, the Hot Summer Rebate will be 87 cents per kilowatt-hour of reduction as compared to the member-specific baseline usage.
Q-What is my baseline?
A-A baseline for each peak event day is calculated using each member’s load for recent historical days that are non-holiday weekdays and non-event days. The historical days used in the baseline calculation are ideally similar in temperature and humidity conditions of the event day.
Q-How will I see my rebates?
A-Rebates will be awarded as a line-item credit on the member’s monthly bill. Each month’s usage and rebates stand on their own, so if you miss savings in one month, you can try again the next month.
Q-Did every participant get the new in-home device to receive notifications?
A-No. Only the 148 members in Test Group 1 received the in-home device.
Q-Can I be assured that my information and usage data is secure?
A-Yes. All information will be held confidential by Flint Energies. Flint will provide the usage data to the DOE with number identifiers…no names or addresses are attached.
Q-Will every participant save money with rebates?
A-No. Your savings are entirely up to you. Our study is to figure out if members actually take actions to save money.
Q-What if I miss a month and do not save anything?
A-You can try again the next month.
Q-What are some ideas on how I can save?
A-Raise the temperature setting on your air conditioner. Turn off your water heater or limit hot water usage (no dishwashing, etc. Turn off swimming pool pump. No stove/oven usage-try microwave instead. No clothes drying.
Q-What will flint energies provide?
A-The equipment, installation, service, usage advice and follow-up.
Q-What is my obligation?
A-To try and participate throughout the duration of the project, unless you move away.
Q-What will this cost me as a member?
A-There is no cost of any kind to the member. Members who successfully use less during peak hours may earn Rebates credited to their Flint Energies bills.
Q-What is my risk?
A-This no-risk program allows you to keep the same rate you have now but gives you the opportunity to get a rebate for each kilowatt-hour (kWh) reduction you make at designated times during the summer. You get a new chance each summer month to save.
Q-How can I maximize my rebate?
A-To get the greatest rebate, reduce your electricity use as much as possible from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. on peak days. Each month, you can check out the impact of shifting certain appliances to maximize your potential rebate.
Q-Will every participant save money?
A-Since we have participants with small average monthly bills and large average monthly bills, there is no guarantee any member will save with rebates. Some members may save a lot and others may save nothing at all, but no one pays more than they normally would.
Q-Does my load management switch save money for me?
A-The load management switch actually shifts usage to a later time of day, so there is very little energy savings, but it help keep you out of the peak times. Our study is focused on actions taken by members (not by switches) to save money this summer.
Q-If I use less during peak times, won’t I just be using more after 7 pm?
A-Perhaps so. But remember you’ll pay 9.5 cents/kilowatt-hour after 7 pm and earn 87 cents/kilowatt-hour before 7 pm.
Q-How did I get chosen to be in Test group 1 or Test group 2?
A-Participants were randomly selected based upon their annual energy use.
Q-What if I used a tankless water heater?
A-Tankless water heaters do prevent you from any standby losses in a holding tank. Using any tankless water heater will not save you money with Hot Summer Rebates since the units could operate during your base times and during the peak times.
Q-What days will you use to determine my baseline usage?
A-Generally, the six days preceding the load control event day.
Q-How many days might we expect to have Hot Summer Rebate savings this summer?
A-Generally, about 15 days and no more than 25 days during the 120 days of June through September.
Q-Can adjusting the air conditioner temperature help me save money with Hot Summer Rebates?
A-Yes, this may be one of the best ways to save money. Two degrees higher will save some money and four degrees higher will save more. But comfort is your choice.
Q-Should I just keep the temperature steady in my home?
A-Air conditioners are using energy when they run and not using energy when they do not run. Any usage you can avoid during the peak hours will save you money
Q-Do window fans use less energy than my central air conditioning unit?
A-Yes, they do. If you can be comfortable without air conditioning, using fans may save you money.
Q-What if I use a timer on my water heater?
A-Hot summer rebates are based on your reduction of usage during peak hours. If you use a timer to turn off your water heater every day from 2-7 pm, you won’t see any savings because the water heater would never show up in your base usage.
Q-What are my odds of winning an appliance package?
A-There will be ten winners out of the nearly 1200 entries in the contest, so about 1 in 120.