ecobee Citizen

Five Reasons to Take Advantage of Community Energy Savings

We spoke with ecobee’s Energy team to get the low-down on a feature that pays.

by ecobee on 01/31/2023 in Smart Home & Tech

4 min read

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The team at ecobee is hard at work developing new products and solutions to help make your home more comfortable and more efficient. Today we’re taking a closer look at Community Energy Savings, an eco+ feature that rewards you for helping keep the grid humming at times of the year when demand peaks.

Why it's important

High energy use during peak periods sometimes causes a shortage of energy supply, which may result in utilities using energy from expensive and less environmentally friendly sources. By adjusting your temperature by a few degrees during a demand-response event, Community Energy Savings allows your home to use cleaner energy and strengthen the electrical grid.

How it works

To enable Community Energy Savings, open the ecobee app and navigate to the thermostat home screen. Tap on the Gear icon at the top right. (You may have to tap on the hamburger menu in the bottom left if you don’t see this.) Select eco+, scroll down, and select Community Energy Savings. Toggle the feature on. If you live in one of a growing number of communities across North America with a demand-response program that we are affiliated with, you will see your program listed underneath the toggle. To complete enrollment and claim your reward, tap on your program, review the offer, and select Get rebate or Claim rebate.

That’s all there is to it. Once your utility reviews and processes your application, your ecobee smart thermostat will now receive demand-response events when electricity demand in your area peaks. These events will adjust your temperature by 1–4 degrees Fahrenheit for no more than a few hours a handful of times per year.

Here are five reasons to start using Community Energy Savings:

A person counting his rebates and money savings

1. Get rewards and incentives

Community Energy Savings automatically scans your area to see if you qualify for a rebate from your utility. This puts more money back in your pocket without you having to do any heavy lifting.

Some Community Energy Savings programs will offer a rebate or incentive simply for enrolling in the program, plus an annual incentive for each year that you participate.

ecobee currently works with over 150 utility companies across North America, and we are adding new partners every year,

- Lisa Scott, manager of ecobee energy’s customer success team

Some utility rebates are as high as $125 and other incentives include prepaid credit cards or gift cards.

Wind turbines in a sunflower field

2. Use cleaner energy and reduce power outages

Community Energy Savings reduces your community’s reliance on peaker plants. Peaker plants are fossil-fuel power plants that sit idle most of the time but are called upon when electricity demand peaks. Peaker plants are expensive to build and operate, reduce air quality, and emit greenhouse gases that cause climate change.

“Customers who participate in their utility’s demand response program are helping balance the supply and demand of energy on their local grid, which helps the environment, reduces the risk of power outages, and the dependence on peaker plants,” said Alysha D’Souza, a channel marketing manager on ecobee’s energy team.

Screenshot of opt out and energy preferences on the ecobee app

3. Maintain control of your comfort

With Community Energy Savings, you’re always in control of your comfort and have the flexibility to opt out if you’re unable to participate. When a Community Energy Savings event is taking place, the eco+ icon will be displayed on your smart thermostat and on the ecobee app, notifying you of the temperature adjustment. Tapping on the icon will provide you with more information and give you the option to opt out of the event at any time.

Your savings preferences and desired comfort level are always customizable through the ecobee app, so you get to balance energy savings with comfort. Before a scheduled demand-response event, eco+ will pre-heat or pre-cool your home to a comfortable level to ensure you’re not too hot or too cold during the event.

Picture of a balanced grid in the day

4. Help fight climate change

An increase in extreme weather conditions has put high levels of stress on the power grid. But we can help.

“In 2022 alone, ecobee shifted an estimated 9.741 GWh of load across Community Energy Savings events for our customers*,” said D’Souza. “We also worked with San Diego Gas & Electric last summer to launch a grid resiliency pilot program during a heatwave in California. We loved seeing the community come together to help prevent power emergencies and use ecobee products to help strengthen their local grid.” See the full story.

5. Easy to enroll and free to sign up

Enrolling in Community Energy Savings is easier than ever through the ecobee app and can be done in three simple steps:

Three simple steps to enroll in Community Energy Savings through the ecobee app

At ecobee, we design intelligent, trustworthy, and quality solutions for your home. It’s all part of our larger commitment to improving everyday life while creating a more sustainable world. If you’d like to learn more about ecobee products and services like our smart thermostats, cameras, sensors, and robust home security system, you can visit our website. To find out how you can make the most of ecobee thermostat smart features, visit the eco+ page.

For more, follow ecobee on Twitter and Instagram.

* As of September 13, 2022.

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