Texas power companies are changing people's smart thermostats without them knowing to save energy amid shortage

Jun 22nd

Thanks to all those next-gen solar and wind farms, Texas is having a hard year when it comes to energy. They couldn't keep residents warm during what we northerners would call a little cold snap, and now in the summer they're running out of energy to keep people cool.

To solve their green-energy woes, ERCOT (the organization that manages the state's energy grid), decided to tell people to sleep at 82 freaking degrees and got understandably laughed at.

Texas energy companies then decided it'd be a GREAT idea to remotely change people's smart thermostats against their will so they slowly baked inside their own homes:

Houston resident Brandon English, whose home has an internet-connected smart thermostat installed, was shocked to learn of the practice after his wife and infant daughter "woke up sweating."

Speaking with KHOU 11, English stated that despite his wife turning down the temperature before taking a nap with their 3-year-old child, the temperature in their home rose significantly.

"They'd been asleep long enough that the house had already gotten to 78 degrees," English said. "So they woke up sweating."

English, who expressed concerns over the potential for his young child to overheat and dehydrate, said it wasn't long after that his wife received a text alert noting that the thermostat had been remotely altered during a three-hour "energy saving event."

Little known to English and many others, the "Smart Savers Texas" program is something they probably opted into, giving the energy company the right to touch their thermostats as much as they'd like whenever they see fit.

Companies across the U.S. have similar programs, which are usually accompanied by the sweepstakes and giveaways to get customers to join.

People reported they could not get their thermostats to start cooling until the company allowed them to, effectively mandating what temperature their homes needed to be set at:

[Warning: Language]

Needless to say, people had some thoughts about companies or the government being able to remotely access smart devices at their leisure:

Remember when we all thought smart devices were super cool? Turns out the conspiracy theorists might have been just a lil' bit right after all.

Whatever you do, make sure to listen to your leaders and don't bypass their little game by installing an old-fashioned thermostat in your home!


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