Program allows Georgia Power to control customers’ thermostats to save energy

TEMP✓ requires a smart thermostat, such as a Nest, and helps reduce demand on the grid during critical peak times.
Published: Jun. 16, 2022 at 5:50 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - A Georgia Power program aimed at conserving energy during extreme weather, including blistering temperatures, allows the utility company to take control of your thermostat.

As a heatwave continues to grip the Southeast, Georgia Power is working to ensure there’s few disruptions to the power grid and, one way customers can help is by signing up for TEMP✓. It allows Georgia Power to manage your smart thermostat using WiFi, either turning it up or down a few degrees, depending on the season.

“This program is more of a way to one - lower usage through behaviors but also lower demand on our system – without the need for the utility to do anything different,” said Eric Arnold, residential energy efficient implementation manager for Georgia Power.

Arnold said the volunteer-based program, which requires a smart thermostat such as a Nest, helps reduce demand on the grid during critical peak times. During the summer, the utility company adjusts the temperatures between 2-7 p.m. - for up to four hours. However, customers are given a 24-hour notice and decide whether to accept or opt out.

“If they’re getting to a point during a demand-response event, they can override the settings,” Arnold explained.

Austin King has a Nest thermostat in his house. While he understands the benefits TEMP✓ can have on the environment and power grid, he’s not sure he would enroll.

“I’m a little hesitant about doing stuff like that,” he said “I get it. I trust it. It just takes some time to get used to it.”

Arnold said Georgia Power will never adjust customers’ settings on non-event days. The so-called Flex Hour events are limited to ten per season.

“We want to have reliable power and reliable service to our customers,” Arnold said. “TEMP✓ is working very well.”

There are discounts and rebates tied to buying a smart thermostat and signing up for TEMP✓. To register for TEMP✓, click here. To learn more about other Georgia Power energy-saving programs, click here.