This Incentive program is combatting the power grid emergency caused by California’s record-breaking heatwave. Here’s how you can get paid to conserve energy.

California has issued several “Flex Alerts” asking residents to reduce their energy usage amidst a scorching heat wave that’s reaching 112 degrees. There’s an incentive program out there that rewards Bay Area residents for their effort in conserving energy, saving the power grid and preventing blackouts.

Published by Meltek on September 8, 2022 12:30 PM
FILE PHOTO: A woman jogs by power lines, as California’s grid operator urged the state’s 40 million people to ratchet down the use of electricity in homes and businesses as a wave of extreme heat settled over much of the state, in Mountain View, California, U.S., August 17, 2022. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
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California’s record-breaking heatwave is coming on heavy this September and it is pushing the power grid to a breaking point. Last week, the California ISO, which oversees California’s power grid, issued several ‘flex alerts’, which asks residents to reduce their energy use and avoid using large appliances or charging electric vehicles between 4 pm to 9 pm. Alerting people when’s the best time to use less electricity seems to be working, as on Tuesday, September 6, after the flex alert at 6 pm, the grid operator saw an almost instant drop in demand of around 2,000 megawatts over the next 20 to 30 minutes! Thanks to the collective power of the people of taking the power into their own hands.  

Get rewarded for using less electricity

While most Californians conserved energy voluntarily, there is an incentive program for Bay Area residents who reduced their energy consumption during these heatwaves. Meltek, an official partner of Marin Clean Energy (MCE), rewards Napa, Solano, Contra Costa and Marin County residents for their effort in conserving energy every day between 4 pm – 9 pm. The more watts they save, the higher their rewards. The incentives for each watt saved are multiplied during these grid emergencies as we want to reward them for their efforts during times of need. Those who signed up with Meltek were able to trade their energy savings for rewards in places like Amazon, CVS, Uber, DoorDash, Nike and more. They could also further increase their environmental impact by funding trees in sensitive forests or buying carbon offsets.  

The lowered demand from Meltek Members takes the pressure off grid congestion (a win for preventing blackouts) and members receive rewards that can add up to hundreds of dollars saved per year in return (a win for consumers).
Why use less electricity between 4pm to 9 pm?

This is the period when demand for energy peaks. Around 4 pm, energy generated by solar power declines as the sun starts to set, which causes most power to be supplied by fossil fuels. Energy Demand also continues to rise as people return home from work puts extra stress on the grid.
Graph above from Bloomberg Green.

Why are heatwaves so damaging to the grid?

The power grid is simple unprepared for climate change and the extreme heat it is bringing. To keep demand and supply under control, grid operators would need to make the difficult choice to cut power to thousands of homes.

First, more people turn on their air conditioners and run them for longer on hot days, which means electricity demand is much higher.  

Second, heat has a physical impact on the infrastructure of the grid, making wires less efficient at moving electricity and pushing transformers and thermal power plants to their temperature limits. As the temperature rises, those air conditioners must work harder to cool the air — which means they draw more power, straining the grid even further.

Below you can see how temperatures broke records for various California locations during Labor Day.
Source: NWS Bay Area Twitter Post.

Take advantage of Meltek’s incentive program to help the grid and the planet at the same time! You don’t have to wait for a heatwave to take advantage of our program. Bay Area residents who are MCE customers can conserve energy everyday between 4 pm – 9 pm to get paid.

Join us to save energy, save your money and save your planet.

Meltek’s demand response programs are available to New York and California residents. Get paid to save energy. Enroll as soon as possible to be alerted of when it’s a good time to conserve electricity – and get rewarded for your environmental impact.
Sign up today to start earning!
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