The future is here! Smart thermostat company Xcel locks Colorado thermostats to not go below 78 to conserve energy
ยท Sep 1, 2022 ยท

We are now entering the phase of our modern horror dystopia where you as a human being are prevented from setting your household thermostat to a comfortable temperature.

You know, because your green state can't produce enough energy and you must be forced to suffer.

In Colorado, the smart thermostat company Xcel locked out THOUSANDS of customers, refusing to let them set their thermostat below the terrarium-like 78 degrees during a heatwave.

From the local ABC news:

During the dog days of summer, it's important to keep your home cool. But when thousands of Xcel customers in Colorado tried adjusting their thermostats Tuesday, they learned they had no control over the temperatures in their own homes.

Temperatures climbed into the 90s Tuesday, which is why Tony Talarico tried to crank up the air conditioning in his partner's Arvada home.

"I mean, it was 90 out, and it was right during the peak period," Talarico said. "It was hot."

That's when he saw a message on the thermostat stating the temperature was locked due to an "energy emergency."

"Normally, when we see a message like that, we're able to override it," Talarico said. "In this case, we weren't. So, our thermostat was locked in at 78 or 79."

Your thermostat, or the corporate folks who make it, can prevent you from cooling your house with the click of a button.

And they just did to nearly 22,000 Coloradoans.

On social media, dozens of Xcel customers complained of similar experiences โ€” some reporting home temperatures as high as 88 degrees.

If my house thermostat is ever set as high as 88 degrees, summer or winter, I will personally rip the machine out of the wall!

Xcel confirmed to Contact Denver7 that 22,000 customers who had signed up for the Colorado AC Rewards program were locked out of their smart thermostats for hours on Tuesday.

"It's a voluntary program. Let's remember that this is something that customers choose to be a part of based on the incentives," said Emmett Romine, vice president of customer solutions and innovation at Xcel.

Customers receive a $100 credit for enrolling in the program and $25 annually, but Romine said customers also agree to give up some control to save energy and money and make the system more reliable.

"So, it helps everybody for people to participate in these programs. It is a bit uncomfortable for a short period of time, but it's very, very helpful," said Romine.

These folks voluntarily signed up for a cost-saving program but I bet a lot of them are getting out of that contract now that they see the consequences.

This is the first time in the program's six year span that customers could not override their smart thermostats, Romine said. He said the "energy emergency" was due to an unexpected outage in Pueblo combined with hot weather and heavy air conditioner usage.

But Talarico said he had no idea that he could be locked out of the thermostat. While he has solar panels and a smart thermostat to save energy, he says he did not sign up to have this much control taken away.

"To me, an emergency means there is, you know, life, limb, or, you know, some other danger out there โ€” some, you know, massive wildfires," Talarico said. "Even if it's a once-in-a-blue-moon situation, it just doesn't sit right with us to not be able to control our own thermostat in our house."

The implications of this are very frightening.

Right now it's a voluntary program, but just wait until it's a government-declared "climate emergency" so the government has to gain access to your thermostat.

It always starts as voluntary. It's a private company. But we've never seen the government even hesitate to abuse technology from a private company for its own ends.

Get ready for the nationwide summer sweat-outs coming your way soon, courtesy of Uncle Sam.

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