The joy of owning a smart home device is that you get to control it remotely, which is pretty cool. However, over in Texas, it seems that owning a smart thermostat also means that there is a good chance your power company could remotely control it and adjust the temperature without your knowledge.
It sounds kind of strange, but that’s what seems to be the case. According to various reports, people are claiming that they have their thermostats adjusted to be lower, only to realize later that it had been turned up. Before you start freaking out, know that this is apparently something that users might have actually agreed to in the first place.
This is part of a program meant to cut down on energy usage during peak periods. In Texas, those who own smart thermostats are eligible for a variety of programs including sweepstakes and discounts, but that also means that the power companies can remotely adjust your thermostat during these peak periods to help save energy, so the occasional inconvenience is the price you have to pay.
In fact, Google actually has a similar program where even if your utility company isn’t participating, you can opt-in if you feel like you want to do your part. That being said, many were still caught by surprise at these remote adjustments.