Thinking of ways to reduce your energy usage? One simple step that you can take is to install a smart thermostat in your home. These thermostats are connected to the internet, can be adjusted remotely, and usually “learn” your living habits in order to run the air conditioning as efficiently as possible. And now, these devices will be required in all new homes and apartments built in Austin. The new ordinance went into effect in September.
Having a Nest (or another smart thermostat) in your home also allows you to plug into Austin Energy’s PowerSaver program. Participants receive an $85 rebate from the utility in exchange for allowing Austin Energy to adjust the temperature in their home by up to four degrees when the demand for electricity is really high. These kind of demand response programs can allow the utility to move further away from fossil fuel-powered plants, which are often used to jump in at a moments notice when electricity use is really high (in the summertime). More info>>