Is Your Thermostat Making Your House Hotter Here In Minnesota?
With several more hot, humid days ahead of us in Minnesota, is your thermostat actually working to make your house... hotter?
Finding just the 'right' temperature in your home thermostat can be tricky
There are few things that will set off arguments faster among families than the temperature at which your home's thermostat is set, right? Which is why this story about how your smart thermostat might actually be making your house HOTTER caught my attention.
It's from Houston TV station KHOU and is about how several Texas energy providers offered a discount on your energy bill if you enrolled in the special program that allowed them to control your energy usage.
These homeowners' thermostats were adjusted automatically-- without them even knowing
So, when power usage was at its peak during last summer's heatwave, those companies turned up the heat-- literally-- on customers' smart thermostats, remotely increasing the temperature (without them knowing) way above where they'd set it when they went to bed. Many woke up sweating, and promptly unenrolled from that program, the story said.
Yikes. I sure would NOT like it if my power company was adjusting the temperature on the thermostat in our house, no matter HOW much money I might be saving on my bill, would you?
So are similar programs available here in Minnesota?
Well, yes-- and no. Rochester Public Utilities IS currently offering a pilot program called the Residential Time-of-Use Rate Program. (Here's how RPU describes it: The Residential Time-of-Use (TOU) Rate Pilot Program may give you the opportunity to lower your annual energy costs by changing when you use electricity.) However, you have to sign up for the program (which is only offered to 200 customers right now) and it appears it won't automatically adjust your thermostat.
But your smart thermostat COULD still be making your house hotter
Just because those types of remote programs don't appear to be available here doesn't mean your smart thermostat might not still be making your house hotter, though. If you have programs like Ecobee's Eco+ activated on your thermostat (which are sometimes easy to turn on without knowing it), it could very well 'pause' your air conditioning, to save on energy costs during peak times. (You can read more about Eco+ from Ecobee HERE.)
Call me old-fashioned, but I'm okay with the old-school programmable thermostat we have at our house right now. While we can program it to adjust the temperature (and hopefully save energy) when we're not home and when we're sleeping, it's NOT online-- and can't be adjusted remotely!
That's the thing about Minnesota's climate, though-- we get both extremes: the hot, humid weather in the summer and the frigid, sub-zero cold snaps in the winter. Keep scrolling to see the most extreme temperatures ever recorded here in Minnesota, and in each state!
Listen to Curt St. John in the Morning
Weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m. on Quick Country 96.5