Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Austin Energy To Offer New Thermostat Program

Austin Energy is launching a new voluntary energy management program for residential customers who use WiFi thermostats to control their cooling and heating systems. Qualifying thermostats for the program are Nest, ecobee and Filtrete, which are available through local home improvement  stores or through heating and air conditioning companies. Once a qualifying thermostat has been purchased and installed, a customer can enroll in the Austin Energy Power Partner Program through the respective web site of their thermostat company. Austin Energy provides an $85 rebate for each qualifying installed thermostat.

For the incentive, customers agree to allow Austin Energy to access their thermostats over the internet and briefly modify temperature settings incrementally by up to four degrees over a maximum of three hours (but generally not more than two hours) when demand for electricity is the highest in Austin and Texas. These energy management efforts have been used an average of about 15 days over the summer between 4 and 6 p.m. and only on weekdays.

WiFi thermostats can help customers reduce their annual air conditioning and electric heating costs by up to 20 percent because they allow the customer to manage the comfort of their home or apartment remotely via smart phones or computers. For additional information call Austin Energy at 512-482-5346. 

(This thermostat program has been in the pilot stage for several months and is scheduled for City Council approval this Thursday, April 25.)

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