Energy Wise Rewards for Business

Frequently Asked Questions

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Yes. Energy Wise Rewards has been designed to meet your changing needs. You will need to contact the Program Call Center at 1-866-353-5798 to request and schedule the change of devices.

Conservation periods typically occur on hot weekday afternoons and can last anywhere from 3 to 6 hours.

Keep in mind that the duration of conservation periods could be reduced as the number of Energy Wise Rewards participants increases. This requires a community-wide effort, so spread the word and share the load.

If an emergency event is called by PJM** (Priority Peak Day) for reliability reasons, it will last until the situation is resolved; therefore, Pepco cannot state how long an event of this type may last.

Depending on the level of participation you choose, you may or may not notice that an Energy Wise Rewards conservation period is even occurring. During the course of a conservation period, the temperature in a typical home may rise 1-3 degrees (50% level), 2-4 degrees (75% level), or 4-7 degrees (100% level). Variables such as home insulation, shaded windows, the addition of ceiling fans, and the amount of foot traffic can also affect the temperature.

thermostatCheck your programmable thermostat. When a conservation period occurs, the LED will glow red and the display will read “SAVE” for the duration of the period.

thermostatCheck your programmable thermostat. When a conservation period occurs, the LED will glow red and the display will read “Event in Progress” at the top of the screen. The center of the control arrows will maintain a steady light for the duration of the period.

thermostatIf you have an outdoor switch, you will need to go outside to inspect the device. A red LED will appear in the window of the outdoor switch throughout the conservation period.

Yes. This could occur, and in that event you would be required to participate per the program rules and the customer agreement.

All customers are permitted two (2) opt outs from non-Priority Peak Days during the cooling season. Participants who wish to opt out will need to call our Energy Wise Rewards Service Center at 1-866-353-5798.

Reducing the use of fossil fuels reduces greenhouse gas emissions. By reducing electricity demand during a conservation period, Energy Wise Rewards also reduces emissions by averting the need for production of additional electricity. When load is highest and supplies are strained, the least efficient power plants must be brought into operation to meet demand or outages become likely. Lower efficiency electricity production also generally equates with higher emissions. The Energy Wise Rewards approach reduces the urgency in building additional power lines and power stations, thereby preserving our natural environment.

Pepco customers use more electricity during the summer season than at other times of the year. As the area grows and more new and existing customers install central air conditioners, demand for electricity reaches higher and higher peaks in the summer, putting a strain on the power system. Participating in Energy Wise Rewards helps all of us to avoid paying for the construction of new power plants built primarily to operate only during times of very high electricity demand for a handful of hours per year.

Demand for electricity in our area is rapidly rising. During the “peak demand” times of summer, Energy Wise Rewards works to reduce electricity usage by “cycling” central air conditioners throughout the region, averting power outages. This reduces the need to build costly, new electrical infrastructure that can drive up rates, and reduces the amount of fossil fuel bought and burned to generate power to satisfy demand.

When a conservation period is called, your device will receive a radio signal that will put your cooling unit’s compressor into a “conservation mode”. For instance, if you elect 50% cycling, your compressor will operate half the time it did during the hour prior to the conservation period. The fan will continue to circulate air even though the compressor has reduced operating time.

No. Participation is totally voluntary and you do not pay to participate.

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The number of conservation periods depends on many factors, including weather, peak electricity demand, and wholesale energy costs. Energy Wise Rewards is only activated during times of high electricity demand, emergency conditions, or system testing. As such, there may be as few as one or two Peak Savings Days or as many as a dozen. In a typical year, one can expect five or less events.

Energy Wise Rewards is part of EmPOWER MD which strives to create a more sustainable and energy-efficient future for Maryland by promoting responsible energy use and conservation.

When you enroll, we’ll install your choice of an Energy Wise Rewards web-programmable thermostat or an outdoor switch near your central air conditioning unit or heat pump, in each facility. On selected Peak Savings Days from June through October, we’ll automatically cycle off and on participating central air conditioners and heat pumps for short periods to help balance the region’s demand for electricity. These events are known as conservation periods. In turn, you will receive an Installation Credit and Energy Wise Rewards Bill Credits for your participation.

In order to receive all available credits in a calendar year, your device must be installed prior to your June bill. Although Pepco cannot guarantee when your installation will occur, if you enroll and schedule your appointment prior to March 30, the device is likely to be installed prior to your June bill (even if you receive your bill early in June).

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Once the technician is onsite, he or she may determine that your air conditioning system either (a) has a problem that prevents installation without repairs being done first, or (b) is not compatible with the equipment being installed. Should this happen, the technician will inform you of the findings and your options.

The energy saving benefits of programmable thermostats have been explored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). According to the DOE, depending on usage patterns and how effectively you program the thermostat, it is possible to save as much as 10% on home cooling and heating costs, assuming winter set backs and summer set forwards when the home is empty.

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To qualify for Energy Wise Rewards, your facility must have either a central air conditioning unit or heat pump in good operating condition. Businesses, community organizations, government and municipal offices, retailers, schools, restaurants, and congregations are eligible to participate, even if the organization does not receive an electric bill directly from Pepco.

The following equipment do not qualify for Energy Wise Rewards and are therefore unable to receive an energy saving device:

  • Geothermal heat pumps (also known as GeoExchange, earth-coupled, ground-source, or water-source heat pumps)
  • Evaporative coolers (also known as swamp, desert, or air coolers)
  • Chillers
  • Thermostats controlled by business alarm or business automation systems

If you have any questions about whether or not your facility qualifies, please contact us prior to enrollment at 1-866-353-5798.

We're Here to Help

Have questions about the devices, your eligibility, or how to apply? Contact us and we’ll help get you started today.