It’s Getting Hot in Here! When Utility Companies Remotely Control “Smart” Thermostats Installed in Customers’ Homes

By B.N. Frank

Has your utility company generously and persistently offered to install a “Smart Thermostat” inside your home in order to help you conserve energy and lower your bills?  Here’s what might happen if you let them.

From Daily Dot:

‘Woke up sweating’: Texas power companies remotely raise temperatures on people using their smart thermostats

Smart thermostats can be remotely adjusted during periods of high energy demand.

Published Jun 18, 2021   Updated Jun 18, 2021, 9:53 pm CDT

Power companies in Texas are remotely raising temperatures inside of some customers’ homes amid the state’s ongoing energy shortage.

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.”

English appears to have enrolled the thermostat, operated by the company EnergyHub, an a program known as “Smart Savers Texas,” KHOU 11 notes. The program, which customers have to opt-into, allows power companies to remotely adjust thermostats when energy demands are high.

Upon realizing the details of the program, English says he immediately unenrolled: “I wouldn’t want anybody else controlling my things for me.”

The English family is not the only one in Texas that seems to be experiencing such issues. The Daily Dot came across multiple videos on social media from individuals who claimed that their thermostats were being altered remotely.

In those cases, residents with Google’s Nest thermostats received messages noting that their temperatures had been adjusted during an “Energy Rush Hour.”

The issue comes shortly after the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), the state’s power grid manager, called on customers to reduce their energy usage and adjust their thermostats to 78 degrees or higher.

Serious questions continue to be raised about the resilience of the privately-run grid in the wake of the devastating snowstorm last February that resulted in widespread power outages.

This article has been updated.

Of course, utility companies can also remotely control electricity as well as ration customer energy use with their 2-way wireless transmitting “Smart” Meters. Utility companies can’t do that with traditional analog meters which are 1-way transmitting.

American opposition to “Smart” Meters – electric, gas, and water – continues to increase for a variety of reasons.  These devices are not only privacy invasive.  They have also been associated with all kinds of problems including HIGHER bills, fires (see 1, 2, 3), explosions, and MORE.

Because “Smart” Meters are 2-way wireless transmitting, they create high levels of harmful electromagnetic radiation (see 1, 2, 3, 4).  This has led to numerous reports (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10) and LAWSUITS (see 1, 2) because of health issues experienced after these meters were installed.  Many utilities now allow customers to “opt out” because of all the complaints.  In fact,

  • Duke Energy customers in North Carolina do NOT have to pay opt-out fees when they provide medical statements confirming that “Smart” Meters will make them sick.
  • A judge has allowed a discrimination case to proceed against a Maine utility that won’t waive fees for a customer with cancer.
  • A California utility has refunded ALL opt-out fees to one of its disabled customers.

Back to “Smart Thermostats”:  since they are also 2-way wireless transmitting, high levels of harmful electromagnetic radiation emissions are being emitted from them too.

Nevertheless, utility companies and tech proponents promise that customers will benefit from making their homes “Smart”.  As always, “Buyer Beware!”

Activist Post reports regularly about “Smart” Meters and other unsafe technology.  For more information, visit our archives and the following websites:

Image: Pixabay

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