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Can Texas energy providers remotely adjust your smart thermostats?

3 min read
For business

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Key points:

  • Some energy companies have programs to adjust residential smart thermostats remotely.
  • Customers voluntarily opt into energy-savings programs through their provider or during smart thermostat setup.
  • Conservation programs will likely continue in the future.

Several Texas retail energy providers (REPs) have energy savings programs to adjust your thermostat remotely. Their goal is to conserve power on days when energy demand is high by increasing the temperature by 2-4 degrees Fahrenheit.

Many consumers learned about these programs when providers increased thermostat temperatures during a heatwave. A Houston resident noticed his smart thermostat changed temperatures without anyone touching it. The resident shared his experience on Reddit and found other Texan families with similar stories. 

Energy companies insist any customer participating in the program decides to opt in when they sign their plan agreement or while setting up their smart thermostat. Energy companies encourage users to read the fine print to know the details of the program and then accept or deny participation. Customers can change their settings anytime on the thermostat or through the app.

How do remote adjustment programs work?

Various energy providers in Texas have similar programs allowing them to adjust smart thermostats remotely. While each program’s terms vary, the basic idea is the same: customers enroll through their REP or smart thermostat manufacturer during thermostat installment and receive an incentive.

For example, the Smart Savers Texas program is sponsored by a partnership between thermostat providers and EnergyHub, Inc. EnergyHub is a connected device and energy management system provider for utility companies. Participants enrolling in the Smart Savers Texas program agree that thermostat providers can remotely adjust the temperature during peak energy demand, called a temperature adjustment event.

The temperature adjustment events can take place from June 1st to September 30th but participants have the choice to participate in each event. Temperatures can be increased up to 4 degrees Fahrenheit during this period. Users enter a sweepstakes to win $5,000 every time an event takes place. The rules and terms for the sweepstakes vary by smart thermostat provider. 

How can this impact you?

If you’re a Texas residential energy customer, you may be able to enroll in one of these programs. Energy saving programs can help customers reduce their energy bills, conserve energy for the grid, and help maintain stable energy distribution. Similar programs exist in various parts of the country, including California and Pennsylvania.

REPs will likely use these conservation measures throughout the Summer. August is usually a month with high energy demand in Texas because temperatures are at their hottest.

REPs will drive participation and focus on these programs as energy needs evolve. 

You may also find an increase in incentives for renewable energy sources, such as solar energy, to support energy conservation.

Check your electricity plan’s contract or smart thermostat settings to determine whether you opted into energy savings programs. If you find out you’re enrolled in an energy-saving program and want to opt out, contact your energy provider

If you want to switch to a provider without an energy savings program, make sure to read the Electricity Facts Label (EFL) to be aware of any early termination fees. Enter your ZIP code at to find the best electricity rates in your area.