ecobee Citizen

Harnessing the Power of ecobee: Keep Your Community Powered and Comfortable

Empower your community with ecobee's Community Energy Savings program. Keep your comfort in control while supporting a resilient energy grid.

by ecobee on 05/30/2024 in Better Planet

5 min read

Electrical power grid at sunset.

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At ecobee, we believe in the power of collective action to create positive change. As an ecobee Smart Owner, you have a unique opportunity to participate in our Community Energy Savings program. By making small temperature adjustments with your ecobee smart thermostat, you can contribute to a more resilient energy grid while keeping your home comfortable. Explore how your everyday comfort can play a role in strengthening your community's energy grid during peak demand periods and earn rewards in the process.

Two ways to make a difference:
How Community Energy Savings Works

1) Help prevent power outages.

When there is risk of an energy shortage, an Energy Emergency Alert may be issued in your city to reduce energy consumption during a specific window. We'll let you know when an energy-saving event is coming. You’ll be notified through the ecobee app and on your ecobee Smart Thermostat, letting you know when it will happen and for how long. If you choose to participate, your ecobee Smart Thermostat will automatically and temporarily adjust by 1-4 degrees for no more than four hours.

ecobee thermostat screens displaying a grid resiliency event.

Ahren Mahler, ecobee's Product Manager, explains, "When there is an energy emergency, ecobee thermostats work together to reduce energy demand on the grid to prevent a power outage. Each thermostat reduces its energy usage slightly: individual customers see little impact to comfort, but the collective impact on overall energy demand reduction is massive."

Mahler highlights a successful example, "We ran a pilot in the summer of 2022 with SDG&E. At the end of the summer, there was a grid emergency across California. With Community Energy Savings, we were able to send a temperature adjustment to ecobee Smart Thermostats served by SDG&E and reduce the load on the grid to support San Diego’s grid operators and help reduce the risk of outages."

Stay in Control of Your Comfort:

Adjustments are rare, and your comfort is always in your control. That's why you can always opt out of any energy-saving event at any time, including during an event, using your ecobee Smart Thermostat or the mobile app.

If you do not wish to receive any automated temperature adjustments during a grid emergency and would like to opt-out completely from the emergency events program, you can turn this feature off using your ecobee mobile app.

To opt out of the program completely, please follow these steps:

  1. Open the ecobee app.
  2. Tap the Home icon.
  3. Tap the Thermostat icon.
  4. Go to the Menu.
  5. Select eco+.
  6. Tap Community Energy Savings and toggle the feature off.

This will ensure you don’t receive any automated temperature adjustments during a grid emergency. You can always turn this feature back on if you change your mind later.

You can also adjust your participation level according to your comfort settings. Whether you prefer a slightly cooler temperature during peak hours or want to maintain your usual comfort settings, control remains in your hands.

Picture of mobile interface when a customer receives a mobile notification before an event, and also receives a mobile notification during an event. It allows the customer to choose if they want to skip it.
Individual customers see little impact to comfort, but the collective impact on overall energy demand reduction is massive.

- Ahren Mahler, ecobee Product Manager

2) Earn up to $125 in rewards by enrolling in your utility’s Demand Response program

You can also level up your impact by enrolling in your utility’s demand response program through Community Energy Savings. This not only benefits your community and the environment but also rewards you for your contribution. Community Energy Savings works by precooling or preheating your home during non-peak hours and then slightly adjusting your ecobee smart thermostat to reduce energy use when demand peaks. As a show of thanks, you could earn up to $125 in rewards from your energy provider.*

How to Get Started

Joining the Community Energy Savings program is quick and easy:

  1. Update Your Details: Ensure your home address and utility provider information are accurate in the ecobee app.

  2. Enroll: If your utility provider offers the program, you'll find it in the settings for your thermostat, under eco+ and Community Energy Savings. Simply follow the prompts to enroll and start making a positive impact.

Why It Matters

The Community Energy Savings program is more than just an energy-saving initiative; it's a collective effort to build a sustainable future for our communities. By reducing energy consumption during peak demand periods, we can alleviate stress on the grid, minimize the risk of power outages, and promote a cleaner, more efficient energy system.

Mahler shares his enthusiasm, "Community Energy Savings will now be able to help more when it matters most. When the grid is struggling to meet demand, participating ecobee thermostats will work together to reduce demand and help reduce the risk of outages in our communities."

Join Us in Making a Difference

Together, we can make a significant impact on the environment and support a more resilient energy infrastructure. Join the Community Energy Savings program today and be part of the solution. Let's keep our communities powered and comfortable while paving the way for a greener tomorrow.

For more information and to enroll in the Community Energy Savings program, check the ecobee app for details.

* Note: Rewards and program availability may vary by region and utility provider.

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