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2022: July-Sept

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Signing up for personalised power cuts...

Colorado 'smart' home temperature control apps find that they can be used by the power company to forcibly turn down your settings

Link Here3rd September 2022
Thousands of Xcel customers in Colorado were locked out of their 'smart' thermostats, meaning they had no control of the temperatures in their homes.

The thermostat displayed a message saying he could not turn up the cooling because he had been locked out due to an energy emergency.

The app users had signed up for a scheme whereby they receive discounts in exchange for volunteering for a personalised power cut when the electricity company is running out of capacity.

Xcel confirmed that some customers had been locked out of their thermostats for hours. Vice President of Customer Solutions and Innovation Emmett Romine said that the 22,000 customers who could not control their thermostats had registered for the Colorado AC Rewards program. He explained:

It's a voluntary program. Let's remember that this is something that customers choose to be a part of based on the incentives. For participating in the program, customers received $100 in credit and $25 annually.

He added that it was the first time in the six years since the program was launched that customers were not able to override their thermostats. He said there was an energy emergency caused by hot weather, heavy usage of air conditioners, and an unexpected outage in Pueblo.

Presumably the same sort of 'emergency override' capability is one of the reason that UK power companies are so keen on getting people to have 'smart' meters.

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