Texas thermostats could be adjusted remotely as part of an energy-saving program

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AUSTIN (KXAN) – As summer begins and temperatures soar, energy companies may start to run into conservation issues.

We saw it this month.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas issued an alert asking Texans to conserve energy as demand was about to exceed capacity. ERCOT attributed this to a high number of production stoppages due to repairs.

But there are other ways that local energy providers can help reduce demand during the hot summer months – by remotely adjusting your internet-connected thermostat.

Austin Energy

Austin Energy has volunteering Power Partner Program, which allows it “to manage energy consumption when demand is at its highest”.

“At a Power Partner event, Austin Energy will adjust the temperature setting on your internet-connected thermostat,” the company’s website read. Temperature settings can be between two and four degrees. The company said it would alert customers before an event took place on their thermostat app or on the thermostat screen itself.

Additionally, events can only take place on weekday afternoons between June 1 and September 30, with the exception of statutory holidays, according to the Austin Energy website. Events will last no longer than two hours, and the number of events Austin Energy can initiate during the summer is 25. Before an event, Austin Energy said there is a “pre-cool” period. that will allow your home to reach a comfortable temperature. before the thermostats are fitted.

Austin Energy says the program helps reduce electricity costs, ensures even energy distribution, and helps prevent power outages.

How do I register?

First of all, you must be a residential customer of Austin Energy. Your thermostat should also control your central air conditioning system. Finally, you have to accept that Austin Energy makes small adjustments to your thermostat on days of high demand.

Once you have answered these questions, you will rate your current thermostat. If you have an eligible thermostat, already installed and connected to the Internet, you can register it here. Certain qualifying thermostats include certain models of the Nest, Honeywell Home, Vivint, and Emerson brands.

If you don’t have an eligible thermostat, you will need to purchase one. Once the new thermostat is installed, you can enroll in the program.

Austin Energy will confirm your registration if all the steps are followed correctly. You should receive an email regarding your status. Customers are limited to five thermostats.

If you join and / or buy a new thermostat, you can get a discount of up to $ 110Austin Energy said.

How can I unsubscribe?

On its website, Austin Energy said you can unsubscribe from Power Partner program events once you have registered. You can opt out through your thermostat, mobile device, or web app.

However, the company doesn’t say online how to opt out of the Power Partner program altogether. Any additional questions can be addressed to [email protected]

Similar programs

the Smart Savers Texas Program run by a Brooklyn-based company called EnergyHub in the summer of 2020 was similar to Austin Energy’s Power Partner program and included power providers operating under ERCOT.

Smart Savers Texas said that participants must agree to “allow the sponsor, EnergyHub and utility to control their thermostat to reduce demand during the program period by increasing the current set point or target temperature set point. programmed to 4 ˚F to temporarily reduce normal. operating modes to reduce electrical demand.

This specific program was to last from May 1, 2020 to September 30, 2020, according to the terms and conditions, but EnergyHub has stated that you may be automatically re-enrolled for other program periods at its discretion.

Just like Austin Energy, an incentive was offered to those who signed up: a chance to win up to $ 5,000 towards your utility bills through a draw.

For 2021, the EnergyHub program period operates from June 1 to September 30. The incentive to join is pretty much the same: a chance to win money for one year of utility bills or up to $ 5,000 through a raffle. The more thermostat settings you participate in during the period, the more you will be entered into the raffle, up to a maximum of eight entries.

The voluntary program includes several Texas electricity providers, like CenterPoint Energy, CPS Energy, and Entergy, and you must have an eligible thermostat to participate.

For this year’s program period, temperature adjustments will occur on non-holiday weekdays anytime between 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.

EnergyHub estimates that there could be two to eight adjustments during the programming period.

How can I withdraw?

EnergyHub has stated that you can email [email protected] to opt out of the program or if you have any questions.


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