AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin Energy is offering more incentives to customers to let the utility adjust eligible smart thermostats at certain times of the day.
Austin Energy says through its Power Partner program customers can earn a $130 bill credit (up from $110 normallly) and when enrolled it allows the utility to remotely change a customer’s smart thermostat during “a handful of extremely hot non-holiday weekdays,” and only during peak energy use from 3-6 p.m.
Customers can also earn a $25 rebate for buying and installing a smart thermostat through Austin Energy. The offer runs through Sept. 6, the utility says.
Austin Energy says this is the first summer it is offering this particular promotion. The company did offer this promotion over the past two winters (Black Friday week through January 31).
If a customer doesn’t want to participate in the event, they can adjust their thermostats accordingly by manually turning the dial or using a smartphone app.
Events can only take place from June 1 to Sept. 30, and Austin Energy says it will only adjust thermostats 2-4 degrees on weekdays and it won’t go above 85 degrees.
It’s a voluntary program, Austin Energy says. The utility also says it helps save money on bills and reduce a household’s carbon footprint, as well as conserve energy during times of high demand. Those who wish to enroll can do so through the thermostat’s manufacturer, Austin Energy says.
There are about 40,000 enrolled devices right now in 33,000 households and a few small businesses. Last year, there were about 35,000 enrolled devices and 27,000 households in the program.
Austin Energy says through this program, it’s hoping to boost the grid’s resiliency and meet energy demand long term, especially as more extreme weather, like February’s winter storm, is expected.