How It Works
Austin Energy customers first purchase any of the qualifying Wi-Fi-capable thermostats from retail outlets or heating and air conditioning companies. These thermostats enable you to control your air conditioning and heating via smart phones or online any time and from anywhere. Then, once a qualifying thermostat has been installed, sign up for the Austin Energy Power Partner program and the $85 rebate through the thermostat company’s website.
In return for the $85 rebate, customers agree to allow Austin Energy (via the Internet) to raise thermostat settings a few degrees typically between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. on about 15 days over the summer when energy use in Texas is high. These load reduction events never occur on weekends or holidays.
Thermostats that qualify customers for the Austin Energy program are: Nest Learning Thermostat (available at Lowe’s and Treehouse stores), EnergyHub Filtrete 3M Radio-Thermostat (available at Home Depot), ecobee Smart and Smart Si Thermostats (available through heating and air conditioning companies) and Radio Thermostats CT30 and CT80 (available online at Amazon.com). Images of the thermostats are below.
Load Reduction Reduces Electric Bills
Reducing electricity demand during peak demand periods in Texas saves all Austin Energy customers on their electric bills. It limits the need for Austin Energy to buy additional power during the hottest summer afternoon when market power prices can be 50 times higher than normal. The 1,000 customers already signed up for the program represent potential energy savings of up to a megawatt of power. A megawatt of power for an hour this summer in Texas could cost as much as $100,000 at peak market prices. Purchased power costs are recovered on the electric bill of every electric customer.
Wi-Fi Programmable Thermostats Help You Save
WI-FI-capable thermostats can help customers reduce air conditioning and heating costs. Some of the qualifying thermostats have motion and light sensors, which allow them to automatically raise temperature settings slightly when the home is empty and lights are out.
Residential customers with questions about the new Power Partner Thermostat program: Call 512-482-5346 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.