The fine print on those utility-subsidized smart thermostats


Yep, that is why I refuse to use one of these "free" thermostats. My utility also gives you a gift card ($50?) if you enroll in this program.

I get the intent of this program, but there has been such a lack of investment in generating power, and with their latest astronomical rate hikes, I cannot get behind this program.


Duh.... so someone signs up with a energy company and gets a small discount or a free smart thermostat. They are happy unit it come time to "pay the piper". What did they think was going to happen?

You want to play you've gotta pay.


That Texas incentive program sounds even sillier. I hope they got a discount on the thermostat itself at least. All the article says they got was a sweepstakes entry :roll_eyes:.


In Virginia and North Carolina you may get $35 on the first year and $10 for subsequent years if you allow the power company to control the temperature at least 75% at peak hours. Ecobee is selling the program pretty aggressively. I wonder how many people didn't read the fine print before they enrolled.


The reality is that the grid will not be able to handle unlimited demand. That's a problem that needs a long-term solution.

Meanwhile, CPS energy gave me two $85 credits for two Sensi thermostats ($109.87 each on Amazon) . They always call to warn customers when thermostats are going to be controlled. I can always set the thermostats cooler if I choose. Usually, it's a 4 PM to 7 PM window.

I usually turn off the pool pumps and avoid using the electric oven, stove, washer, dryer, and sauna during the peak demand period.

It works.

"Depositing new message CPS. Energy would like to let you know that during the peak energy demand day on Tuesday, June 15th, you were the first most efficient home out of approximately 100 similar homes during the peak energy demand day. On Monday, June 14th, you were the 40th most efficient home out of approximately 100 similar homes. Move up in the ranks the next peak energy demand day by adjusting the temperature on your thermostat or delaying the use of large appliances. These notifications help you and our other power players save electricity and money will notify you before and after each peak energy demand day. So you may get a few messages this summer. You may reach us with questions at 888-992-4573. To cancel future phone notifications press nine now. To hear this message again, press one. Thank you. Goodbye."

This reminds me of the NOVEC point of use "load management" device that basically just shut off your hot water heater when it suited the electric company! Lol


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For me this type of behavior by the energy companies is what keeps me away from this type of program.

I think "when it suited the electric company" is an over simplification. However I have yet to find large corporations acting responsibility. I believe if given the opportunity to shed load under their control I don't think they will use it as a temporary crutch while more capability is created. I feel they will take this as a method to not do anything for the time being.

The cost to the energy company for such a program is peanuts for them, essentially no cost.

While I would not recommend this, there is a case to be made that we should increase peak time load. Then when there are rolling blackouts they will at least somewhat motivated to do something concrete towards alleviating the problem.

On a similar note, While I understand this is an engineers pipedream....

For every bridge and road built, an amount of money to insure perpetual care of that entity be required as part of the effort.

(just my short flight away from reality :slight_smile: )


SRP in AZ has this program also, I think it was a $50 credit. Participants are able to suspend the program on their smart thermostat for periods up to a week then you have to suspend it again after you notice that you're sweating :basketball::basketball: lol.

Only a company heavily subsidized by the government would promote using "Less" of their product, and not expanding it's capacity to sell more product.


I don't agree, at least not in the Northeast USA. Because they have a monopoly they seem to make more money even as usage went down. One of their recent rate hikes was justified by reduce consumption!

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Having the monopoly would not be possible without government preventing competition ( providing the subsidies to the monopoly company) from entering the market providing the service and under cutting their competition.

Yea ours said stuff about that reduced consumption BS and raised rates, while simultaneously begging people to turn things off, and get these stupid thermostats.

To compound the issue, our stupid or crooked bureaucrats approved the rate hike.


What, you guys were dumb enough to take the power company's money and then actually connect their smart thermostat to your HVAC system? What were you thinking? :wink:

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I think dumb is an exaggeration. I like the term "stars in your eyes" for a situation where the PLUS benefits are perceived as so bright you can't see the NEGATIVE.


It was hot. My A/C was set to 92F by the Texas Power Grid, but I could not complain about it, as my Verizon-suppled router was blocking emails and phone calls to the local electric utility. My smart TV would only tune in "One America News" which had no news on the Texas power brownouts and rotating blackouts, as they continued to broadcast live coverage of a 8-person "rally" protesting outside the former campaign offices of Hillary Clinton about Benghazi.

I asked Alexa to tell me the weather for tomorrow, and it refused, citing "state secrets" imposed by the newly-elected Ivanka Trump administration. I went to go outside, but the lock would re-lock as quickly as I tried to unlock it - yet another curfew, it seems.

I wondered why people allowed all this surveillance in their homes, and played the "Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death" album by the Dead Kennedys.


There's a book about this, Winston.

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