Would you agree to have your air conditioning adjusted by a few degrees a few times this summer to receive a pre-paid $75 MasterCard and help the province reduce energy use?

If so, you might be interested in learning more about Peak Perks, a voluntary new energy conservation program the Ontario government has created to help reduce demand on the energy grid during the warm months, when we tend to crank up our central air conditioning.

The government says the program, scheduled to launch in late June, will help homeowners save money by conserving energy. As a financial incentive from the province, homeowners who agree to take part will receive a virtual prepaid credit card for $75 in 2023 and an additional $20 virtual prepaid card each additional year they stay enrolled in the program, starting in 2024.

The program is open to residents who have central air conditioning controlled by a smart thermostat. The province estimates there are about 600,000 of the devices installed in Ontario. Those who enroll are required to give their smart thermostat manufacturer access to their device.

Here’s how it will work:

Up to a maximum of 10 times between June and September, during peak periods of electricity consumption, your thermostat would be automatically adjusted to reduce your energy consumption.

The government says the thermostats would be adjusted no more than two degrees Celsius. The reduction would last up to three hours. The adjustments would happen only on weekdays, not on weekends or holidays.

When the reduction ends, your thermostat will return to its original settings. The province also says that homeowners who register remain in control.

“Participants will be notified when one of the maximum 10 annual temperature change events occurs directly by their thermostat manufacturer on their mobile app and on their thermostat,” says the press release from the province announcing the program.

“Peak Perks has been designed to ensure participants are always in control and customers can opt-out of any temperature change event without impacting their incentive.”

In addition to receiving the credit card, the province says, the program benefits homeowners by helping them manage their home electricity consumption, and in the process, helping the province “by reducing stress on the grid on hot days.”

To read more about the Peak Perks Program, see if you’re eligible and decide if you want to enroll, visit the Save on Energy website page at www.SaveonEnergy.ca/PeakPerks.

You can register your interest there and will be notified when the program starts so that you can officially enroll. The website for Save on Energy also offers other tips for saving energy at home, at www.saveonenergy.ca/en/For-Your-Home.

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