As we enter the warmer months of the year, we have a lot to look forward to. The summer season often brings with it a sense of freedom – more opportunities to get outside and be active, take advantage of long weekends, and potentially pack in a few extra vacation days.
Warmer months can also result in higher electricity bills for many of us. This could be due to several reasons, such as an increase in AC use, children being home from school, or the added use of pool pumps during summer months.
Whatever the reason may be, ecobee is here to help. We put together a list of resources to help you manage your electricity costs and conserve more energy this summer.
1. Take advantage of your utility’s demand response program, and get rewarded for it.
To help curb the increase in energy demand during summer months, many utility companies offer demand response or Community Energy Savings programs. These programs help balance the load on the energy grid by allowing your smart thermostat to be adjusted by a few degrees when energy demand in a specific region or community peaks – usually on extremely hot days.
During these events, you’re still in control of your comfort. Your thermostat will show that an energy event is ongoing, and you can opt out of the event at any time.
Enrolling in a demand response program not only helps you manage energy consumption during peak events, but oftentimes your utility will offer you an incentive for participating. Incentives can range from credits applied directly to your utility bill, to gift cards and prepaid credit cards. It’s a great way to earn a little extra this summer while making a positive impact on the environment.
If you’re interested in earning an incentive, enable eco+ through the ecobee app and select your utility provider. The eco+ feature Community Energy Savings will then surface demand response programs you are eligible for and allow you to enroll directly through the app. You can also contact your utility directly, and in some cases, enroll in these programs through the utility’s website.
2. Automate savings with the eco+ Time of Use feature.
Some utilities may charge higher prices for energy used during peak demand hours. Time of Use electricity rates give you more control over your bill, as you can shift electricity use to times when energy is less expensive.
If your rate varies based on time of day, the eco+ Time of Use feature can automate your savings by intelligently precooling or preheating your home when energy is less expensive. In fact, eco+ can save ecobee SmartOwners up to 23% more on cooling costs if they live in applicable areas.1
To enable Time of Use, open the ecobee app and select eco+ from the main menu. Head to eco+ settings to ensure Time of Use is toggled on and that your utility rate has been selected. (Tip: your rate plan can be found on your bill or through your utility account online). Once you’ve selected and saved your rate plan, Time of Use will be activated within a 24-hour period.
From there, you can sit back and allow eco+ to generate savings for you with the Time of Use feature. It’s that easy.
eco+ can save ecobee SmartOwners up to 23% more on cooling costs if they live in applicable areas.
3. Use the vacation setting to manage energy when you’re out of town.
The vacation setting on your ecobee thermostat not only helps conserve energy while you’re away, it also protects your home from extreme heat damage to give you the peace of mind you need to fully enjoy your trip.
When setting up a vacation through the ecobee app, you’ll be asked to select your travel dates and set a minimum and maximum temperature threshold. These settings will minimize your system runtime while also ensuring your home doesn’t go above or below certain temperatures while you’re away.
To save energy on your next vacation, navigate to the home screen of your ecobee app, press Menu and select Vacation. Hit the plus sign to add a vacation and customize your minimum and maximum temperature thresholds through the vacation settings. When you return from your trip, you’ll have a comfortable home and no unexpected charges on your energy bill.
4. Lower your energy bill during dry summer days by adjusting for humidity.
When humidity levels are significantly lower than average, the temperature in your home will feel cooler than it normally would. By enabling the eco+ Adjust temperature for humidity feature, your thermostat won’t cool the home as much as it normally would at the same temperature, helping you save energy while you maintain comfort and control. This is a simple way to automate savings when temperatures and humidity levels fluctuate during the summer months.
5. Access rebates and summer promotions to upgrade your smart thermostat.
During the summer months, many utilities offer instant rebates and promotions to lower the cost of purchasing a new smart thermostat. In fact, ecobee has partnered with select utilities to reduce the cost of the ecobee3 lite smart thermostat to as low as $0.
Smart thermostats are an effective way to automate your savings throughout the year, especially during hot summer months. ecobee’s smart thermostats are ENERGY STAR®certified and can save ecobee SmartOwners up to 26% annually on heating and cooling costs.2
Use the ecobee Rebate Finder to search for rebates and promotions available in your area. You can also keep an eye out for special promotions from your utility to help you upgrade or purchase a smart thermostat at a low cost.
We hope these tips will unlock additional savings for you this summer. For more simple solutions that will help you conserve energy at home, check out our recent blog post, Energy Saving Tips for a Greener Life at Home this Earth Day.
1 Based on a study conducted by a third-party expert during summer 2020 across the US and Canada. Savings vary by season, climate zone and rate structure.
2 Compared to a hold of 72°F/22°C.