Dominion will install an A/C Cycling switch on your home's cooling system. Since the work is performed on your outdoor unit, you don't even need to be home during installation. We provide the equipment and the installation is free.
During periods of high electrical use, Dominion may call an "event" which means we will cycle your home's cooling system on and off at defined intervals. The fan will stay on circulating already cooled air. This occurs during the summer season between June 1 and September 30. Cycling times are limited to weekdays (no weekends or holidays) typically for 2-4 hours between the hours of 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.
Participation is open to qualifying customers in Dominion's Virginia and North Carolina service territory.
Qualifying home owners will receive $40 at the end of each year they participate.
The links on the right and the FAQs listed below will provide you with additional information.
Dominion is always looking for ways to help our customers and our communities conserve electricity to ensure a continual supply of electricity. The Smart Cooling Rewards program helps us manage higher demand in the summer and reduces the need to run peak generators or import electricity into our electrical system. By easing the demand on the power grid, you can help control costs while keeping your power reliable.
Dominion will install a device, also known as an A/C cycling switch, on or near your air conditioner or heat pump system. Since it's outside, you don't need to be home during installation.
During periods of high electrical use - usually the hottest days of summer - Dominion may call an “event” which means we will cycle your air conditioner or heat pump compressor on and off for defined intervals. The fan will stay on circulating already cooled air. The switch is programmed to cycle your AC unit half of the time it ran preceding an event.
Example: If your AC runs non-stop the hour before an event, then it will run 30 minutes for each hour of the event duration. This is accomplished by running 15 minutes on, 15 minutes off. At the end of the event your AC returns to normal operation.
Demand is the amount of electricity needed at any given time. The level of electric demand across Dominion's system fluctuates constantly depending on many factors, like weather conditions and time of the day. When the level of electric demand is at its highest, it is called peak electric demand.
During periods of high electrical demand - usually the hottest days of the summer - Dominion may call an “event” which means we will cycle your air conditioner or heat pump compressor on and off for defined intervals. The fan will stay on circulating already cooled air. This occurs during the summer season between June 1 and September 30. Cycling times are limited to weekdays (no weekends or holidays) typically for 2-4 hours between the hours of 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.
You will be participating in the program once the equipment is successfully installed at your home. Generally, once you sign up for the Smart Cooling Rewards program the switch will be installed within 45 days. This can vary depending on the time of year and the number of customers who have signed up for the program. A door hanger notice will be left at your home on the day of the switch installation so you know your participation is active.
Your switch has a window on the front of it. A light (either red or yellow) will show in the window when the compressor is being cycled. The light will be on during the time that electricity is being interrupted to the compressor. When the light goes out, electricity will be restored to the compressor, and cooling will continue. A green light may be on, off, or momentarily flash, indicating the switch is communicating, which is a normal operation.
Events are posted on the Dominion Facebook page, Twitter, dom.com and Manage Your Account (MYA). You may also call us at 1-888-366-8280 and we can tell you if you are being cycled.
The events are also posted to the Dominion Facebook page and Twitter.
The postings typically precede the event by an hour.
If you would like to stop the cycling of your home's cooling system on a particular date, call 1-888-366-8280 and someone will be able to answer your questions and opt you out of that particular cycling event. You may select up to two days per summer season to opt out of a cycling event. If you opt out more than twice in one season, you will not be eligible to receive an incentive payment that year.
No, cycling does not require any changes in how the thermostat is used.
No. Once the switch is installed, we will be able to cycle your home's cooling system during an event, but it will not affect other appliances in your home.
Each home is different. The temperature inside the home during an event is impacted by the home's characteristics including the year it was built, the efficiency of the air conditioner or heat pump system, energy efficient windows and the amount of insulation.
Customers meeting the eligibility requirements can enroll through Manage Your Account (MYA), enrollment card received in the mail, or by calling 1-888-366-8280.
The Smart Cooling Rewards program is available to customers located in Dominion’s Virginia and North Carolina service territory. You must be a homeowner with either a central air conditioner or heat pump on or near the ground floor.
Mobile homes, apartments, and customers on dynamic or time of use rates are not eligible to participate. To find out if you are eligible, log on to Manage Your Account (MYA) or call us at 1-888-366-8280.
No, this program is for owner-occupied residences only.
If you own your townhome or condominium and your unit has a separate central air conditioning (A/C) or heat pump system that is on or near the ground floor, you may be eligible for the Smart Cooling Rewards program.
No, this program is for owner-occupied residences only.
No, the technology only works on central air conditioning or heat pump systems.
All accessible air conditioning or heat pump systems at your home are eligible and will have a switch installed to cycle it during called events.
No, you are automatically enrolled every year. If you would like to make changes in your participation please call us at 1-888-366-8280.
No. We provide the equipment and the installation is free.
A $40 incentive is credited to your bill annually, after every summer you participate.
No. The $40 is per residence, regardless of the number of air conditioner or heat pump systems. All of the air conditioner or heat pump systems at your home will be cycled during an event.
Every year on September 30th, we will verify that you are currently participating in the program and you did not opt out of more than two cycling events during that program season. Payments will be issued in the form of a bill credit during the December bill cycle.
You may not see savings on your bill, but keep in mind your air conditioner or heat pump system is running less during the cycling event. Your ability to save money on your bill will be impacted by how much you run your air conditioner during other times of the day. Learn more about how to save energy and money with useful tips.
Smart Cooling Rewards will help manage higher demand and reduce the need to run peak generators or import electricity into our electrical system.
Yes. By participating, you and thousands of others help reduce the demand on the electrical system during peak usage periods. By doing your part, you are making a significant contribution to conserving electricity and improving our environment.
We expect that the Smart Cooling Rewards program will reduce the demand on the electrical system by approximately one kilowatt per home. That's the equivalent of turning off ten-100 watt light bulbs.
No. The program is completely voluntary.
In most cases, you do not have to be present for the device to be installed. During the enrollment process, we will capture information to ensure the technicians have the appropriate access for the installation. If there is a locked gate or animals, we will set up an appointment for the installation.
The installation will be done by qualified installers working on behalf of Dominion. They will be wearing a uniform and will have a Dominion badge with their picture. Upon arriving at your home, they will knock on the door to ensure you are aware that they are at your home. If no one answers the door, the technician will leave a door hanger notice on your front door when the installation is complete. The technicians are well-trained and properly insured.
The switch is connected to the low voltage wiring (24 volts) that goes from your thermostat to your air conditioner or heat pump compressor. The switch turns off the compressor just as if you had manually adjusted your thermostat setting to a high enough temperature to turn your air conditioner or heat pump off for a period of time.
Your air conditioner naturally cycles on and off as needed to maintain a set temperature in your home as determined by the setting on your thermostat. When your air conditioner or heat pump compressor is cycled, the compressor may cycle off for longer periods of time, but it will continue to operate without harming the system.
The switch installed at your home is extremely reliable. The equipment has been used in similar programs across the country for over 20 years. It is designed to allow your cooling or heating system to continue working in the unlikely event of a failure. If you believe the switch on your home is operating improperly, please give us a call at 1-888-366-8280.
The switch will not impact any operations you have with setting either a standard thermostat or a programmable thermostat.
Your switch has a window on the front of it. A light (either red or yellow) will show in the window when the compressor is being cycled. The light will be on during the time that electricity is being interrupted to the compressor. When the light goes out, electricity will be restored to the compressor, and cooling will continue. A green light may be on, off, or momentarily flash, indicating that the switch is communicating, which is a normal operation.
Please have your service technician call us at 1-888-366-8280 before they proceed with disconnection or removal. We have worked with the equipment manufacturers. The switch will not harm your air conditioner or heat pump.
Call us toll-free at 1-888-366-8280 to let us know. We will arrange to have your switch installed on your new air conditioner or heat pump at no additional cost.
We will automatically deactivate your switch when you notify Dominion of your move and discontinue your electric service at your home. We will offer the new owners the opportunity to participate in the Smart Cooling Rewards program.
Once you move into your new home, please call us toll-free at 1-888-366-8280. We will verify your eligibility and arrange to enroll your new home in the program.
No, however we recommend you adjust your thermostat accordingly, since no one will be home. Learn more about how to save energy and money with useful tips.
Please call 1-888-366-8280 to speak to a representative.