Some Texans have been sounding off on social media saying their smart thermostats have been adjusting themselves during ERCOT’s call for conservation. Turns out it’s true, and you gave permission.
Many customers may not remember when they joined an energy-saving program with their power company, but smart thermostats are used to reduce the strain on the state’s power grid.
The power company can remotely adjust your thermostat in times of crisis, such as Texans are going through now with the excessive heat, according to FOX/4News.
The program goes by a couple of names: ‘Give Back, Get Back,’ ‘Smart Savers Texas’ or ‘Rush Hour Rewards.’ It’s run through a company called Energy Hub.
Through your thermostat provider – you were registered to help conserve energy, and somewhere in the contract, you also gave permission for your thermostat to be adjusted to a higher temperature during a crisis.
In exchange, thermostat customers are entered in a sweepstake for each crisis, with the winner getting as much as $5,000 applied to their electric bill. The program runs from June 1 through Sept. 30.
And this event might not be a one-time thing, either. Remote temperature adjustments can occur anytime on non-holiday weekdays from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. and last one to four hours each time.
According to USA Today, Erika Diamond, the vice president of customer solutions at EnergyHub, which runs Smart Savers Texas, says that remote adjustments to thermostats are rare, only occurring two to eight times each summer.
And, Diamond says customers can opt out of the program if they so choose. But when you think about it, adjusting thermostats is only sensible in keeping the power grid from crashing during a heatwave, and we really don’t know what the summer has in store for us.