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Video: How you can earn money with OPPD’s Cool Smart program

June 23, 2019 | Laura King-Homan | products & services, video
P&S_Cool Smart_with video_homepage

Stay cool this summer while making smart energy choices with help from the Omaha Public Power District.

Cool Smart, an OPPD Power Forward program, is a demand-side management program that helps OPPD work toward its goal of shedding 300 megawatts (MW) of peak demand by 2023.

To date, approximately 43,000 customers are enrolled in the program, and they’re getting paid to do so – $50 during the first year. Their participation is reducing OPPD’s peak energy usage by 62 MW.

Here’s how it works:
  • OPPD attaches a free outdoor device to a customer’s home on the siding or brick nearest the air conditioning unit or heat pump.
  • Customers receive $50 in the first year: a $30 bill credit for signing up and $20 the first year, and every year of participation. The annual credit appears on their September bill.
  • Most days, nothing will happen. But on very hot days, when electricity demand is at its highest, the device will run a customer’s AC or heat pump in 15-minute intervals (on for 15, off for 15) for 2½ hours between the hours of 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.
  • AC management takes place a maximum of 12 days per year, never on holidays or weekends. You can opt out any two days of the year with 24-hours’ notice.
Other programs

OPPD customer can also participate in a smart thermostat program to help the utility reduce demand. In this program, customers earn a one-time $100 bill credit when they sign up, and receive a $20 credit annually.

Currently, the program is only available for Nest thermostat owners who sign up for Rush Hour Rewards. By signing up, customers allow OPPD and Nest to manage their Nest thermostats during Rush Hour events. There may be up to 15 per year from May to October. These events would last up to four hours between the hours of noon and 9 p.m.

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About Laura King-Homan

Laura King-Homan is the managing editor of The Wire and a communications specialist at the Omaha Public Power District. She has nearly 20 years of print journalism and design experience, including the Omaha World-Herald.

View all posts by Laura King-Homan >

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