PowerMinder FAQs

What is PowerMinder?
PowerMinder by Virtual Peaker is real-time, cloud-based technology that will adjust your heat pump water heater for maximum efficiency without giving up comfort.

How will my water heater be optimized?
Most of the time, two out of three days, your water heater will be optimized on the Time-of-Day (TOD) Rate. That means your water heater will heat water to a higher temperature during times of the day when electricity rates are lower. Sometimes, one out of three days, your water heater will be optimized to consume more renewable energy or lower cost energy for SMUD. The value of this type of optimization allows us to provide monthly participation bill credits.

Steps to enroll

  1. Check that your water heater is compatible. Water heaters with a recirculation pump are not a good fit for this pilot.
  2. Ensure you have a mixing valve attached to your system.
  3. Connect your heat pump water heater to Wi-Fi using the touchscreen on your water heater.
  4. Download the EcoNet app and connect your heat pump water heater to the app.
  5. Before enrolling, please verify you can access your water heater home screen in the EcoNet app.
    If you can control your water heater with the EcoNet app, continue with enrollment and have your EcoNet login username and password ready.
    If you can’t see or control your water heater and you need help connecting your water heater using the EcoNet app, contact Rheem EcoNet support at 1-800-255-2388 and tell them you are participating in SMUD’s PowerMinder program.
  6. Enroll your heat pump water heater.


EcoNet app

Compatible systems 

Currently only the Rheem system is compatible with this pilot. More manufacturers are coming in 2021. Please check back for updates.

Device connectivity

You must maintain an internet connection for the heat pump water heater at all times. Check your Wi-Fi connection here. In the event connectivity is lost with the water heater, PowerMinder will notify you and you’ll have 30 days to restore the connection. If you don’t resolve the issue in this time frame, your water heater will be removed from the pilot.

What is a mixing valve?

Photo of hot water heater mixing valve

Heat pump water heaters with a mixing valve qualify to enroll in this pilot.  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 only works when your water heater has a mixing valve installed, and to participate in the pilot, a mixing valve is required. There are some safety concerns to be aware of when participating in the PowerMinder pilot. As a normal part of the pilot, PowerMinder will heat water to a higher temperature during the times of the day when electricity rates are less expensive. Participants must set the mixing valve to a temperature that will keep the water at a comfortably warm and safe temperature (e.g., 122 F).

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.

Participants, through accepting the pilot'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

Please read the full terms & conditions for participation in PowerMinder.

Read full terms & conditions