Your daily dose of Austin
Smartphone image
Make your inbox more Austin.
Local news and fun, every day 6am.
Can't take the heat? Texans report energy companies adjusting smart thermostats
Smart thermostats are being controlled by energy companies, some Texas residents are saying. (BitBoy/CC)

If you have an internet-connected smart thermostat, you might want to check the temperature. Some Texas power companies have allegedly been remotely raising the temperatures inside people's homes in the midst of ERCOT's energy shortage.

ERCOT has been asking Texans to conserve energy since Monday by setting thermostats to 78 degrees, among other recommended actions.

Over the past few days, some Texas residents have said their thermostats are set much higher than normal for several hours. Customers enrolled in energy-saving programs may experience the same thing.

Social media posts with thermostat screens that say "critical rush hour," "energy rush hour" or "energy-saving event," have circulated.

In Austin, the messages are appearing if customers are enrolled in the "Power Partner" Program, where Austin Energy offers customers up to a $110 rebate for smart thermostat owners who enroll. According to Austin Energy, the program allows it to "briefly adjust your thermostat settings by a few degrees only as needed during peak energy demand."

That means adjustments to Nest, Ecobee and other smart thermostat devices unless customers unenroll from the program.

KHOU-11 reported that a Houston family woke up sweating to find their house had been inched up to 78 degrees after they specifically set the temperature cooler. Their thermostat was operated by the company EnergyHub.

Across the state, Texans are reporting similar experiences.


Reply to @rainman7719 Ercot sucks #ercot #Texas #28XTREMES


New mothers step up to donate breast milk as Austin weathers formula shortage


Austin parents and grocery store shelves are feeling the effects of a nationwide baby formula shortage.

Keep ReadingShow less
Get ready to see driverless vehicles as Argo AI launches new pilot in Austin

(Argo AI)

Next time you’re sitting at a red light in Austin, you may look over and see a car without a person at the driver’s wheel.

Keep ReadingShow less