Clean Energy Water Heater Program in Hawaii
For Hawaii residents who live in a building or development where Shifted Energy’s Tempo device has been or will soon be installed… Welcome!
Your participation in our program helps Hawaii be more energy independent by helping the utility use renewable energy instead of imported fossil fuels. Shifted Energy will coordinate with your housing manager to install the device in your home. All you need to do is sign the PSA to permit the utility to heat your water at specific times of the day. Our smart device helps ensure you have hot water when you need it, and you will receive a bill credit for each month you participate.
This new program is part of the Grid Services project, which is a broad partnership between Hawaiian Electric, Open Access Technology International, Shifted Energy, and others on the Hawaiian Islands.
Benefits of the program…
- $36 to $60 bill credit per year
- Support renewable energy
- Increase energy independence from fossil fuels
- Future savings for homes that switch to time-of-use billing
- Help a local, innovative business
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a grid interactive water heater?
It’s your regular water heater equipped with intelligent controls so that renewable energy from the sun and wind can be used to heat water. The water remains hot and can be used later without using more electricity during the peak demand hours. This helps integrate more renewable energy and reduce Hawaii’s reliance on imported fossil fuels.
What are you using my electric water heater for?
We use your water heater, along with many others across the state, to help stabilize the electric grid. For example, during the day when solar panels are producing energy, we can turn on a fleet of water heaters to make sure that energy gets used. Similarly, when there is high electricity demand, we can temporarily turn them off to reduce that demand. Though, we do allow some heating to occur during these temporary shutdowns to ensure you have comfortable hot water. You can learn more about Demand Response programs at Hawaiian Electric’s FAQ page.
Will this program affect my electricity bill?
Yes, participants in our program receive a modest bill credit as a mahalo! Other than that, we don’t expect your electricity usage to change as our program does not cause your water heater to heat more or less than normal.
Why is this program free for me?
When we control your water heater along with hundreds or thousands of your neighbors’ heaters, we are essentially creating a “virtual” power plant that supports Hawaiian Electric’s grid. So instead of the utility paying big power plants for energy, they’re paying you!
Will this program affect my hot water supply?
As long as your hot water usage follows normal patterns, you will not notice a difference. As with any water heater, if you have an abnormal amount of hot water drawn over a short period of time, you may experience tepid water as your water heater catches up. If after waiting at least 15 minutes, there is no change in temperature, you can call us at 808.664.0053 or email us at [info at shiftedenergy.com]. We can troubleshoot remotely and offer suggestions for repair and maintenance.
Will this program affect the life of my water heater?
No, the life of your water heater is not impacted in any way with program participation. Similar kinds of controllers are installed on millions of water heaters worldwide and 35,000 on Oahu. Our controllers do not directly connect to or modify your water heater or plumbing at all.
What if I get my heater repaired or replaced. Do I need to contact you?
No, any repair or replacement you make does not need to be coordinated with us as we do not directly connect to or modify your water heater.
Can I opt out of the program?
Yes, you can call us at 808.664.0053 or email us at [info at shiftedenergy.com] at any time to opt out of our program.
Who uses and sees my hot water data?
Only Shifted Energy uses your water heater data to customize your heating profile to ensure you have adequate hot water during times that Hawaiian Electric is requesting we lower energy use. Your individual data is never used for any other purpose or shared with any other company outside of Shifted Energy. Your address and personal information is not stored with your usage information ensuring that your data always remains anonymous.
Do you use my home’s Internet to connect my water heater?
No, our system uses an ultra low power cellular connection from AT&T or T-Mobile.
How often does the electric company use my water heater?
Hawaiian Electric needs to use these water heaters roughly between 50 and 100 times per year. During these times, additional power will be consumed (water heaters turned on) before peak and power reduced (turned off) during peak demand, which on Oahu is from 5pm to 9pm.
Can I turn off the Shifted Energy device connected to my water heater?
No, only a licensed technician should be operating the controller. The electricity powering water heaters is very dangerous. Please call us at 808.664.0053 or email us at [info at shiftedenergy.com] if you would like to disconnect the device.
I like to turn off my water heater when I’m on vacation, can I still do this?
While it won’t affect our service, for your own safety, we recommend that you do not do this. We do not recommend anyone without proper qualifications open an electrical panel as a shock from your panel could be deadly.
Does flipping my water heater’s circuit breaker save me money?
Most likely no, it does not save energy or money, and it unfortunately makes you ineligible to participate in this program because it prevents us from being able to use your water heater the way we need to. We do not recommend anyone without proper qualifications open an electrical panel as a shock from your panel could be deadly. Additionally, circuit breakers are not designed to be flipped regularly and doing so will reduce the lifespan of your breaker. If you choose to flip your water heater’s breaker regularly, please call us at 808.664.0053 to un-enroll from the program.