When a sudden heat wave hits a large swath of the country, air conditioning systems in houses, apartments, hospitals and office buildings all crank on at once, and utility companies go into overdrive trying to meet their clients' increased energy demands. This kind of short-term increased demand puts a strain on our electric grid and can even become a public safety hazard if overloaded systems crash just when consumers most need to cool their indoor environments.
You might be asking why we're talking about air conditioning and energy use when temperatures have been mild to cool and summer hasn't even made an appearance yet. While some utilities offer winter energy saving programs, now is the time of the year that utility companies begin recruiting homeowners to be part of the voluntary summer programs.
An Innovative Way to Save Energy and Money
To prevent an overdrive to the energy grid, utility companies implement a variety of voluntary energy saving programs (known in the industry as demand response, or DR) that incentivize consumers to reduce their energy use during periods of peak demand. Historically, utility companies would install a wireless device to the homeowner's air conditioning compressor that would turn it off if they were experiencing peak demand, which left homeowners frustrated and overheated without any control at those times.
Today, users sign up online by connecting their smart thermostat with their utility account. From there, the utility sends an alert through an app or on the thermostat when there is increased demand and adjusts their thermostats a degree or two to reduce the stress on the system. Utilities offer rebates and rewards to customers who participate. Every program is a little different, but in most cases the homeowner can choose if they want to change their temperature, or if they are about to have a house full of family for a child's birthday party, for instance, they can choose to opt out. Many utilities offer a rebate or even a free connected thermostat that is compatible with their demand response programs. To see if your utility offers a program, use this simple demand-response tool.
Honeywell Home from Resideo Helps Your Home Stay 'Just Right'
Resideo offers a full range of Honeywell Home™ branded thermostats that are demand response-enabled. All of our Wi-Fi thermostats have demand response capability, and our new Honeywell Home T Series Smart Thermostats are perfect for homeowners who can link them directly to rebate programs offered by participating utility companies. Once installed, the thermostat goes to work, adjusting temperatures based on who is in the house and what's going on outside on the city-wide power grid. Homeowners can save on energy costs while helping to reduce the stress on our energy systems during peak hours, which helps utilities to save on building expensive infrastructure.
Resideo's DR-enabled thermostats are "set and forget" – homeowners don't have to worry about adjusting temperatures themselves – but if customers want or need to make changes to the thermostats, they can access the devices via a simple app on their phones even when they're away from home.
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