(BCN) — PG&E is reminding customers they can cut their bill while keeping their electricity consumption down amid this week’s prolonged heat event with a monetary rewards program launched earlier this summer. The reminder comes after the California Independent System Operator issued a Flex Alert calling on the state’s residents to cut power usage during peak energy usage times to lessen the strain on the state’s power grid.

From 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday, and likely through the weekend, residents across California are encouraged to shut off unnecessary lights and appliances, and either set their air conditioners to at least 78 degrees or higher or turn it off completely. Customers enrolled in PG&E’s free Power Saver Rewards Program will earn credit off their bill when they use less energy during Flex Alerts and any other days deemed a Power Saver Rewards event by PG&E.

At the end of the summer, more than 1.5 million customers enrolled will receive a cut off their bill, with no penalty for times they used energy. Customers earn $2 of credit for every kilowatt-hour of energy they conserve — this translates to the amount of energy consumed if a 1,000-watt device runs for one hour. To determine this figure, PG&E compares the amount of energy used during an event to a customer’s “expected energy usage.”

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To participate, residents must be an electric service customer of PG&E or a community choice aggregator, have a SmartMeter and not be enrolled in pre-existing energy reduction programs. More information on how to enroll can be found at powersaver.pge.com.

PG&E encourages residents to pre-cool their homes, use major appliances like a dishwasher or washing machine, charge electric vehicles and close their window shades before 4 p.m. on Flex Alert days. The company also recommends customers to stay cool in times of extreme heat. Information on cooling centers around the state can be found on PG&E’s website or at CALoes.ca.gov.

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