Connected Water Heaters

Earn cash and add value with smart water heaters

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Smarter water heaters. Smarter buildings.

As part of this program, we will heat the tanks on your property when energy demand is low. Residents get the same hot water they expect, and you get $20 per participating water heater, per year. Program participants average about $2,500 in cash rewards a year. It’s easy to get started!

How it works

The most common electric water heater stores 50 gallons of hot water for immediate use. We will use your water heaters like a battery. Your residents have hot water when they need it and we will defer the heating of your water to a time of the day or night when demand is lower.

We do this by installing a small switch and communications module on each of your electric water heaters. We won’t stop the tanks from heating during high-use times or when there is no extra hot water available.

Four simple steps

It’s easy to get started:

  1. Contact us with the addresses of potential properties that have a minimum of 50 units per site.
  2. Sign a contract.
  3. Provide access to the property so we can install our equipment.
  4. Cash your annual check and keep your contact information up to date.

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Everybody wins

  • Property owners earn $20 per participating water heater each year. With a 300-unit property, you could earn an easy $6,000 per year.
  • We are able to use cleaner, more efficient and less expensive energy sources.
  • With less demand on the grid during peak times, there is less pressure on energy prices, which helps all of our customers.

Frequently asked questions

1. How much will I earn?

As an incentive to participate in our Connected Water Heater program, we will pay property owners $20 per participating water heater each year. New construction or looking to upgrade your water heater fleet to smart water heaters? Talk to us about your project! You may qualify for an additional $70 one-time incentive per water heater, which covers the cost differential between a standard and a smart water heater.

2. How will this program affect my property value?

When your everyday appliances become income-earning assets, your building is worth more. Our program is an easy way to increase your net operating income, raising the overall market value of your property.

3. Will my residents run out of hot water?

Because we monitor connected water heaters closely, your residents shouldn’t see any disruption in their service or availability of hot water.

4. How do my residents benefit from the program?

To thank your residents for being part of this program, we will offer them rewards, like Chinook Book coupons worth thousands of dollars that can be downloaded onto their smartphones. Your residents will also enjoy knowing their home is a smart, connected home.

5. What are my responsibilities?

You will be responsible for the regular maintenance of your water heaters, as well as for giving us access to the property for the maintenance of our equipment when needed. You will also need to keep your contact information up to date with us.

6. Who pays for the switch and communications equipment?

We will pay for the control equipment, along with its installation and maintenance. You are still responsible for your water heaters.

7. Will your equipment damage my water heater?

Not at all. If you have questions about the installation process, we’re happy to walk you through it.

8. How much space does the equipment take up?

Very little space is needed. Each water heater has a small switch. Depending on the model, the switch communicates either by cellular bandwidth or a local wireless area network. If a local wireless area network is required, the team will perform the installation to set it up. The account manager will discuss the models currently available and suited to your property at the time of installation scheduling.

9. Does PGE install equipment all at once?

We respect the time it takes to manage apartments. To keep time and costs to a minimum, our installation crew will enable all qualifying water heaters on the property during one visit, if possible. This initial installation time depends on the number of water heaters involved.

10. Can this program help me provide more hot water to residents?

In short, no. The availability of hot water depends on the size of your water heater and its elements, the number of people using hot water, the amount of hot water being used and how frequently it is used.

If your resident is running out of hot water today, our program will not be able to provide more hot water than is currently available.

11. How does this program help my property be a “green” building?

Environmentally-friendly features can be a major draw for residents. Smart water heaters can help you advertise your building as green, because they lighten the demand on our grid during peak hours. This allows us to use more of our clean, cost-effective energy sources.

12. When does PGE send payments?

We deliver incentive payments each time a property reaches the 12-month anniversary date for the installation of control equipment. We will send payments within four to eight weeks after this date for each participating water heater.

13. Can individual residents opt out?

Residents can opt out of the program during your initial enrollment or when they move in. Residents can opt out of the program or switch to a less frequent control schedule at any time.

If the resident chooses to opt out, the installed device will stay in place but will no longer be in operation. The device will be reactivated when a new resident moves in.

14. What impact does this program have on prices overall?

Connected water heaters are one tool for using energy wisely. They can help us avoid building new power plants, running plants that are less efficient and more expensive, or buying power on the open market at premium prices.

When we can buy cleaner, less expensive energy, we all get to enjoy a healthier environment and lower prices.

15. How do I qualify?

This program is available only to select multifamily properties. Qualifying properties should have a minimum of 50 apartments with water heaters that are 38 gallons or larger each. Simply contact us with the addresses of potential properties.

16. Questions?

Email us at waterheaters@pgn.com or call us at 888-987-0976.