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SmartHours

SmartHours Frequently Asked Questions 

Take control of your summer electricity bills with simple changes in your energy use and a new price plan. It’s simple. Go off peak, when energy costs less and start saving.

If your questions about SmartHours aren't answered below, please contact our SmartHours call center at 877-898-3834.

1. What is the SmartHours program?
This program is an opportunity for customers to take advantage of time-based pricing during on-peak times (summer weekday afternoons, Monday – Friday, June 1 – Sept. 30, 2 p.m. – 7 p.m. excluding recognized national holidays). During these hours, it costs more to generate electricity, causing prices to rise. With the SmartHours program, customers can save money by using time-based pricing through Smart Grid-enabled products and services.

2. What is the SmartHours Plus program?
The SmartHours Plus program offers customers a state-of-the-art, programmable thermostat coupled with the time-based rates of the SmartHours program. With the technology of the SmartTemp Thermostat, customers are able to take better advantage of time-based pricing, which is a key feature of new Smart Grid-enabled products and services. In addition to the SmartTemp Thermostat and time-based rates, OG&E is providing customers with access to an energy information website—myOGEpower.com—to view all their energy use and costs so customers have better control over their monthly bills.

3. If I live in an apartment, can I still switch to the SmartHours Price Plan?
Yes. All OG&E customers can switch to the SmartHours Price Plan.

4. If I live in a mobile home, can I switch to the SmartHours Price Plan?
Yes. All OG&E customers not on the Guaranteed Flat Bill Program can switch tot he SmartHours Price Plan.

5. Does the SmartHours Price Plan work if I have a window unit?
Yes, the SmartHours rate plan works with window units; however, you would not be able to get the SmartTemp Thermostat  with a window unit. OG&E is evaluating technology that could make this possible in the future.

6. Can my business switch to SmartHours?
Yes. Small businesses powered by OG&E can switch to the SmartHours Price Plan.

7. What is myOGEpower.com?
myOGEpower is a free online tool that offers several ways for customers to monitor their electricity use – daily, weekly or monthly.

8. How does myOGEpower work?
myOGEpower receives current usage information via the Smart Grid, which allows customers to see their energy use in incredible detail. Customers can track and manage electricity use more efficiently, view current usage and see their estimated bill for the month. They can also compare their use to the average and most efficient customers in their area. Cost per kilowatt is also provided, which allows customers the opportunity to see how minor changes in their daily routine can save energy and ultimately help save money to lower their bills.

9. What price do I pay?
During the hours from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m., residential customers will pay one of the following base prices: Low (5¢), Standard (9¢), High (19¢), or Critical (43¢). These prices do not include taxes and fees. Small commercial customers on peak prices follow a similar structure.

10. Why does the price change during peak hours?
To meet the demand during the peak hours, OG&E must use its most expensive generating units or purchase electricity from others at a higher cost. The SmartHours program gives customers the option to change when and how they use electricity so they can benefit by focusing their use when the price is lowest.

11. What determines the peak price?
The peak price is determined from the estimated use of all customers and the availability of less expensive electricity.

12. How is the price different from what I am on now?
The standard rate is an average of the price of electricity and the estimated peak demand. This means that those on the standard rate pay a higher price 19 hours of the day when costs are low and a lower price only 5 hours a day when the costs are highest.

13. Why do I have to sign up to save money?
In order to save money, customers must switch to the SmartHours program to take advantage of peak and off-peak prices. Even if you are following our suggestions, the benefits of SmartHours cost savings will not be available for you to take advantage of if you do not switch.

14. Can I see savings if I stay at home during the weekdays or live with people who are energy hogs?
Yes. Just by switching to the SmartHours rate, you can still save even if you work from home or live with energy hogs. This is because of the low price of electricity for 19 hours of the day, national holidays, and weekends.

15. What is the best bill guarantee?
OG&E guarantees that you will not pay more for the first 12 months that you are on the SmartHours rate when compared to your previous rate. If you should pay more at the end of the 12 months, then OG&E will credit your account with the difference. The best bill guarantee allows you time to get comfortable with your SmartHours rate and adjust your electricity usage from the peak hours (2 p.m.– 7 p.m.) to the other 19 hours of the day.

16. How will being on the SmartHours program affect me being on the average monthly bill (AMB) plan?
It will not affect your ability to be on AMB. AMB is a payment option, and SmartHours is a Rate plan. You can be on both at the same time. By signing up for the SmartHours program, you will see your AMB monthly payments change based on your savings through the changes you make in the way you use electricity in the on- and off-peak hours of the SmartHours program.

17. I am currently on Guaranteed Flat Bill (GFB). Can I still sign up for SmartHours?
GFB customers can switch to SmartHours at the end of their 12-month GFB term with no penalties. However, if you want to switch before the end of your GFB term, you may owe a balance. An OG&E customer service representative can help you determine your GFB end date and any potential balance.

18. How do I know if I will save money – Rate Comparison?
Your savings is calculated by comparing what you pay on the SmartHours rate versus what you would have paid if you were on your standard current rate for the same billing period. You will receive a monthly report that includes how much you saved and tips on how to save even more.

19. What is the benefit to OG&E?
The focus of the program is to reach our goal of not building an additional incremental fossil fueled power plant until the year 2020 or beyond. Avoiding this new generation will assist in keeping rates as low as possible.

20. How do I get a free SmartTemp Thermostat?
OG&E is providing free SmartTemp Thermostats to customers that enroll in the SmartHours program and have systems compatible with the SmartTemp Thermostats to assist them in automating their peak hours air conditioner electricity usage.

21. If I live in an apartment, can I have a SmartTemp Thermostat installed?
Yes, after the approval of your leasing or property manager.

22. If I live in a mobile home, can I have a SmartTemp Thermostat installed?
Yes, if you have central heat and air. If not, you can still be on the SmartHours rate without the SmartTemp Thermostat offered by OG&E.

23. Can I have more than one SmartTemp Thermostat installed?
Yes. Customers can receive as many thermostats as there are air conditioning units in their home or business.

24. Can I still switch to SmartHours if I don't want a SmartTemp Thermostat?
Yes. SmartHours is a rate plan and having the free SmartTemp Thermostat is optional. However, customers who used the SmartTemp Thermostat saved, on average, 20 percent more than those without one. 

25. How does the SmartTemp Thermostat work?
The SmartTemp Thermostat is a state-of-the-art, programmable thermostat that allows customers to set their comfort level (temperature) based on the current price of electricity. When the thermostat is installed, customers are assisted by a thermostat installer in setting their temperature-price preferences. Once these are set, the thermostat will receive price signals through the Smart Grid system and react based on the customer’s preferences; these preferences and the resulting temperature settings can be overridden or changed by the customer at any time.

26. Will the SmartTemp Thermostat work if I have a window unit?
Not at this time, but you may still switch to the rate without a SmartTemp Thermostat.

27. Who manufactures the SmartTemp Thermostats?
There are two version of the SmartTemp Thermostat. One is manufactured by Energate and the other by Carrier. These are specifically designed to work in conjunction with Smart Grid programs and are compatible with most HVAC and/or heat pump systems.

28. Who is installing the SmartTemp Thermostat?
The SmartTemp Thermostats will be installed by a dedicated, trained installer. OG&E has installed thousands of smart meters in neighborhoods across Oklahoma.

29. How do I set up a SmartTemp Thermostat installation appointment?
Visit smarthours.com or contact the OG&E SmartHours call center at 877-898-3834, M - F 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

30. Will the SmartTemp Thermostat installers work on the HVAC system as well as install the thermostats?
No. If the installers see any HVAC performance or safety issues while installing the SmartTemp Thermostat, they will ask the customer to call his/her HVAC contractor or electrician.

31. What do the lights on the SmartTemp Thermostat indicate?
There are four LED lights on the SmartTemp Thermostat. The yellow, orange, and red LEDs indicate that a higher price is in effect. The blue LED indicates the SmartTemp Thermostat has adjusted the set-point temperature based on your conservation setting. Conservation will be displayed on the screen instead of the set-point name.

32. Why does my A/C seem to run more frequently since my new thermostat was installed?
The SmartTemp Thermostat is optimized to keep the temperature in a narrow range and minimize over and under-shooting the set-point. As a result it may run more often than an older thermostat with a wider range around the set-points but for shorter lengths of time.

33. Why is my A/C coming on an hour before the scheduled set-point time?
During a price event (Low, Standard, High or Critical Event) the anticipation function is disabled. The anticipation time begins to heat or cool the space one hour early so the temperature is at the desired set-point at the designated time. The thermostat’s default setting of 60 minutes anticipation time is ignored when there is a price event.

34. What is pre-cooling, and why should I pre-cool?
When your thermostat was installed, you may have been prompted by your installer to set a temperature to pre-cool you home. This is a recommended setting for customers on the SmartHours Plus program. This will allow your home to stay cool longer while your thermostat setting is bumped up a few degrees during the peak hours. Pre-cooling is designed to cool your home or business to a temperature below your set-point prior to the peak period (2 p.m. – 7 p.m.). This process is done while the cost of electricity is the least expensive. Pre-cooling the temperature in your home or business will allow your HVAC system to remain off and coast for a period of time (approximately two hours) and save you money by decreasing the operating time when prices are high. How long it coasts is dependent on how much you pre-cool and how well your home or business is insulated.

35. How do I set up my SmartTemp Thermostat to pre-cool?
To program your SmartTemp Thermostat for pre-cooling, insert a new set point (one that is not already in use by the weekday schedule) in your weekday schedule to start around noon and set the cooling temperature at least two degrees lower than the set-point that was in effect at noon. See step-by-step videos on ogepet.com or contact the OG&E SmartHours call center at 877-898-3834, M – F 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

36. How do I tell my A/C when I’m not home, or set it to my schedule? There are four default weekday set points (Wake, Leave, Return and Sleep). There are two default weekend set-points (Wake and Sleep). The set-point menu is used to change the temperature associated with each set-point. The schedule menu is used to change the time associated with each set-point. Up to six set-points can be used per day. There is also an extend hold set-point for when you plan to be away from home for several days, such as vacation. See step-by-step videos on ogepet.com or contact the OG&E SmartHours call center at 877-898-3834, M – F 7 a.m. – 6 p.m.

37. Can I change the temperature setting on my SmartTemp Thermostat during a price event?
Yes, you always control your temperature and comfort. You can temporarily override your thermostat settings until your next scheduled set-point, or you can change the temperature set point and schedule.

38. Can I make the SmartTemp Thermostat operate like a manual thermostat?
Yes, by setting only one set-point for each day and using the temporary override to adjust the temperature during the day, it will function like a manual thermostat. However, you may miss opportunities to save money during the day because you are not home to make the adjustments for higher-priced hours.

39. Can I change the SmartTemp Thermostat over the internet?
Not at this time. OG&E continues to evaluate this and other technology options but ensuring the security of the network, customer information, and meter data is of the utmost and primary importance. The SmartTemp Thermostats that OG&E is currently installing are connected to your meter and connecting them to the internet creates an unacceptable risk at this time.

40. Does OG&E see, monitor or control my SmartTemp Thermostat?
No. You are in complete control. The SmartTemp Thermostat receives price signals from OG&E. Based on your settings, it will adjust the temperature of your home, which means you always control how cool your home is and how much you can save. This program is designed to provide customers with the opportunity to reduce their electricity usage based on their needs and lifestyle changes. The thermostat allows a convenient way to automate their changes and choices.

41. My SmartTemp Thermostat screen is blank. What should I do?
Contact the OG&E SmartHours call center at 877-898-3834. They will send the installer to replace the thermostat.

42. I sometimes get a message on my screen “Output short circuit. Check wiring”. What should I do?
Contact the OG&E SmartHours call center at 877-898-3834. They will send the installer to check for an intermittent short circuit in the SmartTemp Thermostat installation. If it is in the thermostat, they will repair it at no cost to you. If not, they will tell you to contact your HVAC repair service.

43. What should I do if the SmartTemp Thermostat heat or cool animation (flame or snow flake) shows it is on but the furnace or A/C is not running?
Contact the OG&E SmartHours call center at 877-898-3834. They will send the installer to check thermostat and installation. If it is incorrect, they will repair or replace it at no cost. If the problem is with your HVAC equipment, they will recommend that you call your HVAC repair service.

44. For two days a month in the winter months my thermostat indicates that I am in conservation mode. What should I do?
 Set your SmartTemp Thermostat to the "Max Comfort" mode until springtime. This will override and ignore all incoming price signals. A short instructional vide is available at ogepet.com that shows how to change this setting. 

45. Why does the text on my SmartTemp Thermostat screen flicker?
It is normal for people to see flicker in the text if they look at it at an angle or if they are looking at the Conservation screen. This is cosmetic and does not affect the thermostat’s operation.

46. What should I do when I receive a low battery message on my thermostat screen?
Contact OG&E SmartHours call center at 877-898-3834, and they will arrange to provide a replacement battery.

47. What if I have more questions about SmartHours, the SmartTemp Thermostat or installation?
For more information, visit oge.com or contact the OG&E SmartHours call center at 877-898-3834 (between the hours of 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. M – F). For any questions regarding equipment compatibility, thermostat operation or new HVAC systems, please contact the OG&E call center to speak to one of our Customer Service representatives.

48. Who do I call if my air conditioner or heater is not working?
If you have reason to believe that the thermostat is not working properly, call OG&E SmartHours call center at 877-898-3834. For all other issues call your HVAC repair service. If you do not know, you can always call OG&E first.

49. How do I file a complaint?
To file a complaint call the OG&E SmartHours Call Center at 877-898-3834

50. Can I unenroll from SmartHours at any time, or is this price plan similar to a contract?
SmartHours is not a contract; you can unenroll at any time by calling the OG&E SmartHours call center at 877-898-3834 to change your rate plan. However, if you unenroll during your first year, you will not receive the best bill guarantee, but over 99 percent of customers save on the rate!

If you have further questions about SmartHours, contact a SmartHours Customer Service Representative at 877-898-3834.

additional resources

myOGEpower
 

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