Some utility companies in Texas are turning smart thermostats up amid summer heat

Shane McGlaun - Jun 21, 2021, 7:13am CDT
Some utility companies in Texas are turning smart thermostats up amid summer heat

Many people have switched to smart thermostats, such as the one that Nest makes, to help save money on utility bills by having better control over the temperature in their homes. Smart thermostats allow homeowners to remotely control the temperature inside their home to cool it down when they’re ready to return home and allow it to be warmer when no one is there. Recently, some Thermostat users in Texas who were part of several programs ran by electric companies have lost control of their own home temperature with the electric company remotely raising the temperature in homes.

Texas is currently undergoing a heatwave, which essentially happens every summer within the state. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas has urged Texans to increase their thermostats to 78 degrees or higher to help ease the strain on the grid. The problem some have faced is that their electric companies took control of their Thermostats and changed their settings without asking.

Some users report that their thermostat settings were changed to as high as 82 degrees. Any Texas native who has spent a summer in the sweltering heat knows once the home reaches a high temperature, it’s nearly impossible to get it to cool back off without the system running constantly, leading to freeze-ups and other problems. Excessive heat can also be particularly dangerous for very young and very old people.

Google has stated that the temperatures being changed on thermostats in some Texas homes was related to energy programs managed by local utility companies that it says are working as intended. The programs aren’t exclusive to Nest thermostats, and the users had to opt into the program with a utility provider. Google also noted that the users could opt-out at any time.

The irritation many in Texas feel over having their temperature settings changed comes in that seemingly, they were unaware the electric company could change their temperature at will. Also worth noting that users can change their temperature settings back manually, but it’s never a good thing to come home to a sweltering house after a long day at work.


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