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Texas homes get hot when power companies change smart thermostats

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Homeowners in Texas have found that their homes are warm, even though they are using air conditioning. We have discovered that an energy company is remotely adjusting the thermostat to a high temperature with minimal warning.

Residents of Houston and the surrounding area complain that the temperature of the thermostat is rising. Rather than keeping the house cool, the thermostat has been remotely tampered with to operate at warmer temperatures.

In one example aired by WFAA, a British family at Deer Park discovered such a situation on Wednesday. Brandon English returned home that day after discovering that his wife and daughter had cooled down at 2:30 pm, but the temperature changed while taking a nap.

According to English, the temperature of the house rose to 78 degrees Celsius, and the wife and children “woke up sweating.” He was worried that his three-month-old daughter could become dehydrated from the unbearably hot house heat.

His wife then received an alert informing him that the thermostat had been changed remotely as part of a three-hour “energy saving event.”

The family thermostat was found to be enrolled in a program called “Smart Savers Texas” run by Energy Hub. As part of the deal, EnergyHub will be able to remotely control the thermostat during periods of high energy demand in exchange for participation in the sweepstakes.

Changes occur during the summer months when homeowners are straining the power grid to keep their homes cool with air conditioning. On Wednesday, the Texas Electrical Reliability Council urged residents to raise thermostats to reduce the burden on the power grid.

In a statement received by Gizmodo, EnergyHub said, “During a demand response event, Smart Savers Texas will raise the temperature of participating thermostats by up to 4 degrees to reduce energy consumption and stress on the grid. All participants can write programs and opt out of demand response events at any time. ”

EnergyHub says it works with many smart thermostat vendors, including those that provide thermostats that support HomeKit. The list includes Ecobee, Honeywell, Lux, as well as Google’s Nest, which promised support for Apple-backed smart home protocol Matter in May. This means that Nest Thermostat’s HomeKit support is under development.

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