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Texans claim their thermostats are being adjusted remotely during heatwave

·2 min read
 (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Texans say that their smart home thermostats have been adjusted remotely to help the state save energy during the heatwave.

Some residents claim the temperature in their homes was turned up without their consent as temperatures soared.

The issue arose just months after the Texas electricity grid suffered widespread blackouts during the winter storm that saw millions lose power and left more than 151 people dead.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas sent out an alert this week for people to help them conserve electricity during the hot conditions.

Karen Rogers said her home in Galveston, Texas, became hot and uncomfortable when the temperature was changed without her permission.

“I really started investigating and thinking who could have done this can like an energy company controls it? I found an activity log and it said that a saving event was initiated by the utility company and so I was just really intrigued in what that means,” Ms Rogers told KPRC 2 Houston.

It turns out that many Texans are enrolled in a programme called Smart Savers Texas, operated by a company called EnergyHub.

Users who sign up to save money through it also give the company permission to remotely adjust their smart thermostats, according to Houston’s KPRC TV station.

Some of Energy Hub’s clients include CenterPoint Energy, ERCOT and TXU Energy.

“Smart Savers Texas helps support grid reliability by working with thermostat manufacturers and security dealer partners to sign up connected thermostat owners to participate in reducing energy use when the grid needs it most,” said Erika Diamond, EnergyHub’s VP of Customer Solutions:

“Thermostat owners typically receive an offer to participate from their manufacturer or service provider within their mobile app or via email.

“During a demand response event, Smart Savers Texas increases the temperature on participating thermostats by up to four degrees to reduce energy consumption and relieve stress on the grid.

“Every participant actively agrees to the terms of the programme and can opt out of a demand response event at any time.”

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