Cool Off Energy Bills With SCE’s Summer Discount Plan

By signing up for the program, Southern California Edison customers can receive up to $200 in bill credits this summer.

May 14, 2014 | By Toni-Lynne Langeveld

As most homeowners can attest, spikes in electricity bills during the hot summer months are an unwelcome occurrence. But by signing up for Southern California Edison’s (SCE) Summer Discount Plan, customers can earn up to $200 in bill credits.

Tiffany Fraser, a customer service specialist with Southern California Edison, often hears the concerns from customers about high summer electricity bills.

“Now that we’re approaching the summer months, I get a lot of inquiries about the Summer Discount Plan,” she said. “Customers are thinking ahead on ways to save since they've experienced high bills in the past.”

SCE’s Summer Discount Plan allows customers to receive bill credits of up to $200 by allowing their central air conditioner to be temporarily turned off or cycled during peak times of the day. The program offers a variety of plans and options, and is completely customizable.

“A lot of customers had never heard about the program, but after explaining it to them, they showed genuine interest and said they would call back and enroll once they discuss it with their family,” said Fraser.

Juliet M. of Yorba Linda has participated in the Summer Discount Program for over ten years and is pleased with the credits she has received on her bill.

“The biggest benefit is the reduced electricity bill during the summer … we [saw] a great difference in our bill,” she said. “It’s a great way to enjoy some savings and save the environment at the same time.”

During the past five years, SCE’s programs have helped customers save enough energy to power 1.2 million homes for a year. Energy conservation programs help the environment by reducing the strain off the power grid and help to ensure a more reliable power supply.

The Summer Discount Program is a year-round program where customers can enroll at any time, but savings are generated from June 1 through Oct. 1. To enroll in the program, a customer’s central A/C system must be in good working condition. The program is not recommended for anyone with heat-related health issues.

A contractor will install a device on or near the central air conditioning unit, which will allow SCE to remotely turn it off during energy events. The installation is free of charge. There are four options with different levels of participation, including the “standard” option or the flexible “override” option which lets the customer opt out of up to five energy event days a year. Maximum savings are achieved with 100 percent cycling; customers may also choose 50 percent cycling.

“Last year, there were over 305,000 customers on the program,” said Patrick Riley, SCE program manager, who is part of the team overseeing the Summer Discount Plan. “I, myself, have been on the program since 1988.”

In addition to the Summer Discount Plan, customers can also participate in Save Power Days. By reducing their electricity use between 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on scheduled Save Power Days, customers can earn up to $100 annually in bill credits. For more information or to sign up for Save Power Days alert notifications, visit on.sce.com/powerday.

For more information or to sign up for the Summer Discount Plan, visit on.sce.com/sdp.