While the move is environmentally friendly ... it's also done for cost savings as part of PG&E's SmartRate program. During these hot summer months, if PG&E designates a "smart-day", participants have to reduce their energy use between peak hours.
In return, they pay a discounted day-to-day rate, which can save businesses, like Target thousands of dollars a year. Additionally, it can help PG&E avoid outages. "Everybody needs to have energy; particularly during these hot temperatures and it helps make sure that the lights and air conditioning stay on for everybody," said Jeff Smith with PG&E.
But for places that don't utilize a cost-saving program ... keeping those lights and air conditioning on is expensive. On an average day, the Fresno Unified School District spends about $22 thousand to air conditions all of its schools. With extreme heat, that bill jumps to nearly $27 thousand.
And although not everyone can avoid the expense ... places like Target are trying. Even if that means making slight sacrifices along the way.
The SmartRate program is also available to homeowners who have smart meters.