Now you can score a little rebate for conserving electricity during the most brutal hours the California power grid experiences, as a Flex Alert rebate program kicks in today at 4 p.m.

California residents can rightfully feel we dodged a bullet Tuesday night by avoiding rolling blackouts for a second consecutive day, and this could absolutely be attributed to regular folks heeding the call and conserving energy. But that was still pretty much a margin-of-error victory, and this now-week-long (and still going) scorcher still very much requires we conserve electricity, particularly between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m.. Wednesday and Thursday nights could very easily see rolling blackouts in effect all over northern California.

So PG&E is finally doing something to proactively get people to conserve energy during those hours when the California power grid faces its most extreme duress. KGO reports that PG&E will pay you for conserving energy during peak usage hours, under a new program called  Power Saver Rewards.


This rebate program does not apply every day. It only applies during the specific hours when we’re under a Flex Alert, which the California Independent System Operator (ISO) defines as “a call for consumers to voluntarily conserve electricity when there is an anticipated shortage of energy supply.”

But we’ve got a Flex Alert looming in just a few hours, as there is one scheduled for Wednesday between 4 p.m. - 9 p.m.

You do have to enroll in the program to get the rebates applied to your PG&E bill, but enrolling is incredibly easy. All you need is your name, phone number, email address, and PG&E account number. You can easily complete this process by 4 p.m. today.

“PG&E will calculate how much energy you normally use during peak hours of 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.,” ad KGO explains. “If you use less energy during those hours on Flex Alert days, PG&E will credit your account. You get $2 for every kilowatt hour you save.”

The appliances that use the most power, and therefore you’d want to avoid using them during these hours, include air conditioners, water heaters, electric stoves, and electric vehicle chargers.

A skeptic could say that PG&E could have and should have started doing this 20 years ago. Fair point. But it’s also impressive that they’ve rolled this program out pretty quickly, and more importantly, at the time when it’s most urgently needed.

So do sign up as quickly as possible if you’re a PG&E customer. After all, if you put it off for five or six hours, you might not have electricity at that point.

Related: Heat Stuff: Santa Rosa Sees All-Time High-Temp Record Broken, More Energy Conservation Needed Wednesday [SFist]

Image: Jon Moore via Unsplash