Connected Water Heaters

Earn money and add value with smart water heaters

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Smarter water heaters. Smarter buildings.

As part of this program, PGE will heat the tanks on your property when energy costs are low. Tenants get the same hot water they expect, and you get $20 per participating water heater, per year. It’s easy to get started!

How it works

The most common electric water heater stores 50 gallons hot water for immediate use. PGE will use your water heaters like a battery. Your tenants have hot water when they need it, but PGE will defer the heating (charging) of your water to a time of the day or night when energy costs are lower, instead of on demand when costs may be higher.

We do this by installing a control switch and communications modules on each of your electric water heaters. PGE 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 25 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.
  • PGE is 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 PGE’s program, we will pay property owners $20 per participating water heater each year.

2. How will this program affect my property value?

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

3. Will my tenants run out of hot water?

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

4. How do my tenants benefit from the program?

To thank your tenants for being part of this program, we will offer them rewards, like Chinook Book coupons that can be downloaded onto their smartphones. Your tenants 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 control equipment?

PGE 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?

No.

8. How much space does the equipment take up?

Very little space is needed. Each water heater has its own control switch, a small box with an integrated Wi-Fi module. The switch sends data over Wi-Fi to routers on your property, which then transfers data to the cloud via 4G LTE. We will need a small space where we can place our router.

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 tenants?

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 tenant 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 tenants. 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 tenants opt out?

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

If the tenant chooses to opt out the control equipment will stay in place, but PGE will not control the water heater. The control equipment will be reactivated when a new tenant 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 PGE 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 25 apartments. Simply contact us with the addresses of potential properties.