Minnesota public power utility Rochester Public Utilities is launching a Bring Your Own Thermostat program to help reduce energy consumption during periods of high demand.
RPU’s voluntary demand response program is designed to reward customers for reducing their electricity use during periods of high demand, while helping the environment and reliability of the grid, the utility said on March 20.
Program participation requires customers to agree to brief, limited peak savings events, which adjust their thermostats during peak electric demand periods from May 1 through September 30.
Peak demand periods for adjustments typically occur on hot or humid days, but peak savings events may also be called under other circumstances to reduce strain on the grid. Peak savings events will not occur on weekends or holidays.
Customers who install qualified smart thermostats will receive a one-time $50 enrollment incentive, in the form of a bill credit, and those that stay enrolled throughout the summer season will receive a year-end $25 bill credit.
“Our new BYOT program is part of RPU’s continuing efforts to take advantage of newer technologies. Smart thermostats are part of a growing number of energy efficiency tools developed in recent years, that can be monitored and controlled remotely by users,” said Patty Hanson, Manager of Utility Programs and Services at RPU, in a statement. “The thermostats have been shown to reduce customer energy bills, and in large numbers, they could significantly reduce electric grid load, especially during hot summer months when air conditioning use is high.”