GREENSBORO, N.C. — Let's say your home thermostat is set at 74°. Would you be willing to bump it up a degree or maybe a few degrees to 78°
for a few hours a couple of times this summer?
What about if I told you Duke Energy would give you $75 if you allowed the company to change your thermostat for those few hours?
There's a new program to help the company manage peak usage times. All you need is a smart thermostat and you can enroll in the Power Manager Smart Thermostat option. The idea is when it's a peak energy use day for the entire grid, your home helps by using less air conditioning energy.
Duke Energy would adjust your thermostat by 4° or less from whatever you have it set on.
The only times this adjustment can happen:
Summer from 1 pm to 7 pm
Winter 6 am to 10 am and 6 pm to 10 pm
The Energy Management Events are typically on weekdays, not weekends, and not holidays. It's not a surprise, you get a warning it's about to happen.
“We send out a message to your thermostat and your app that it's going to be happening. What we do is we may cool down the temperature in your home in the hours proceeding the event and then set your thermostat higher when demand reaches its peak, that way you really don't notice a difference in your comfort but we reduce your energy usage in that time voluntarily during those times,” said Jeff Brooks of Duke Energy.
The company has only had one Energy Management Event this summer, it was June 15, 2022. Thermostats were adjusted at 1° for one hour.
You get a $75 gift card when you enroll and a $25 gift card at the beginning of each year you're signed up.
What if the Energy Management Event falls on an inconvenient day? Brooks says you can opt out twice without losing your rewards.