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.

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. 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 the on-going monthly bill credits.

Steps to participate 

  1. Check that your 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 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 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

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

You must maintain an internet connection for the heat pump water heater at all times. In the event we lose connectivity with the 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 water heater from the pilot.

Read full terms & conditions