Power problems are an ongoing issue in Texas. We all remember when the grid completely failed during the winter of 2021. People froze to death in their homes. This past summer, temperatures soared to the highest levels in history in many parts of Texas.

There were definitely times when the grid teetered on the edge during the summer of 2022.

To combat these problems, power companies have resorted to tactics that can be misleading if customers aren't paying close attention. A program called Smart Savers Texas offered customers a chance to win free electricity for a year. Many customers did not read the fine print.

The "fine print" allowed Texas utility companies to take control of your thermostat and turn it up or down, depending upon the season.  The power companies could even lock you out of your own thermostat and turn off your appliances whenever the power company needs more power.  They don't' have to tell you.

This issue is not unique to Texas.  A few days ago Xcel Energy in Colorado prevented 22,000 people from using their thermostats on Tuesday due too an "energy emergency". The affected Xcel customers had signed up for a program that entitled them to $100 enrollment credit and $25 a year in exchange for giving up some control over their thermostats.

Photo by Delaney Van on Unsplash
Photo by Delaney Van on Unsplash
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TXU Energy here in Texas is just one of many Texas power companies that entice customers to join these programs to save money. If you don't want Big Brother power companies messing with your thermostat make sure you read the fine print on any offer, especially if it seems your getting something for nothing.

All these plans promise very limited control, but where does it end?  These kind of programs, and the tactics used to lure Texans into them, make many of us nervous. Is this just a step toward getting all of us used to the idea that we will have to give up control of the temperatures of our own houses.?

It is ironic that as The State of Texas wishes to stay independent of the national power grid, the price of that independence is enticing many Texans to give up control of the temperature in their own homes.

 

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