PowerMinder FAQs

What is PowerMinder? 
PowerMinder by Virtual Peaker is a real-time, cloud-based technology that will adjust your heat pump water heater for maximum efficiency without giving up comfort. It also optimizes the price you pay for energy, ensuring your heat pump water heater is powered in the cheapest, most affordable way possible.

What is time-of-use optimization? 
On the Time-of-Day (TOD) rate, you pay different rates for electricity based on the season and the time of day that you use it. Rates are lower during off-peak periods because it costs less to produce or purchase electricity. Rates increase as demand and cost for electricity increase, especially during the summer months. This means that at certain times of day you’ll pay a premium to consume energy.

Steps to participate 

  1. Check that your Hot Water Heater is compatible 
  2. Ensure you have a Mixing Valve attached to your system 
  3. Enroll your device

Compatible systems

  • Rheem 
  • GE Geospring 

Heat-pump Hot Water Heaters with a mixing valve qualify to enroll in this pilot. Participants must set mixing valve at a temperature that will keep the water at a comfortably warm but not unsafe hot temperature (i.e., 122 F). 

Device Connectivity 

You must maintain an internet connection for the heat pump water heater at all times. In the event connectivity is lost with the hot water heater, PowerMinder will notify you and you will have 30 days to restore the connection. If you do not resolve the issue in this time frame, your hot water heater will be removed from the pilot.

What is a mixing valve? 
Photo of hot water heater mixing valve

A mixing valve is a physical component installed on your water heater that blends hot water with cold water to ensure a constant, safe water faucet outlet temperature. PowerMinder works best when your water heater has a mixing valve installed, and to participate in the program, you must verify whether or not a mixing valve is currently installed. (With some utilities, e.g. SMUD, a mixing valve is required to participate in the program.)

 There are some safety concerns to be aware of when participating in a PowerMinder program. As a normal part of the program, PowerMinder will heat water to a higher temperature during the times of the day when electricity rates are less expensive. For water heaters that have a mixing valve installed, participants must set the mixing valve to a temperature that will keep the water at a comfortably warm but not unsafe temperature (e.g., 122 F). For water heaters that do not have a mixing valve, the PowerMinder program will not heat the water above the default set temperature.

 Program participants must fully understand the following important items: Failure to accurately inform the PowerMinder program whether or not a mixing valve is installed could result in a risk of scalding. Further, improper adjustment of the mixing valve could result in extremely high water outlet temperatures that may also pose a risk of scalding. 

Program participants, through accepting the program's Terms and Conditions, assume all responsibility for their own safety as well as the safety of anyone using the water heated by their water heater.

Terms & conditions 
You must maintain an internet connection for the heat pump water heater at all times. In the event we lose connectivity with the hot water heater, PowerMinder will notify you and you will have 30 days to restore the connection. If you do not resolve the issue in this time frame, we will remove your hot water heater from the pilot.

Read full terms & conditions