Power Companies in Texas Controlling Thermostats & BitCoin Miners
The battle over Texas’ power grid continues to be a hot topic! Power companies are literally controlling thermostats and asking Bitcoin miners to change their ways with incentives.
TEXAS—The battle over Texas’ power grid continues to be a hot topic! Power companies are literally controlling thermostats and asking Bitcoin miners to change their ways with incentives. This battle will only get tougher as electric cars and more people flood the state. What are you doing to cover your needs when rolling blackouts or worse, the next natural disaster hits?
| 8/2/2022 3:25:01 PM
On the home front, when you sign up for voluntary power saving options with your local power company—be sure to read the fine print, or you could find yourself at the companies’ mercy. That’s what’s happening as the temperatures have risen with summer in the Lonestar State and thermostats have been adjusting themselves—well sort of.
“Texas power companies heated up some customers' homes last week by remotely controlling their smart thermostats,” according to KHOU 11. “One resident said his family had awoken, sweating and shocked their home had gotten as hot as 78 degrees.
“It turns out they had enrolled their thermostats in an energy-conservation promotion called Smart Savers Texas, run by a company called EnergyHub, in partnership with power companies. The program gives EnergyHub permission to adjust participants' smart thermostats remotely during times of peak energy demand, in exchange for entry into a sweepstakes,” according to KHOU 11.
So yes, the company raised the family’s desired thermostat temperature remotely to save energy.
"During a demand-response event, Smart Savers Texas increases the temperature on participating thermostats by up to 4 degrees to reduce energy consumption and relieve stress on the grid," said Erika Diamond, EnergyHub VP of customer solutions. “The ability to reduce energy consumption is critical to managing the grid, in Texas and nationwide."
The good news….. you can opt out of the program as fast as they can raise the temperature in your home. So, check your system if you prefer to control your own household and enjoy your privacy as many folks have said they didn’t even know they were enrolled in the program.
On the other side of the spectrum, Texas is home to a large and still growing crypto industry. Bitcoin mining is expected to add 27 gigawatts to the Texas grid by 2026, according to Verge. Seven of the largest Bitcoin miners in the U.S. use as much electricity as all the homes in Houston.
Because they use a lot of power, Bitcoin miners are being asked to shut down at certain times to ease the burden on the electricity grid. Many have complied with this request, giving back about 1,000 MW of capacity, but that’s because The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) offers demand-response incentives to these operations for using less electricity during peak usage times.
Both these power grid concerns should be disconcerting to you. They show a pattern of continued, increased need in our state as well as how power companies are finding ways to control your usage – what’s next?
It’s time to come up with a plan and setup your own power supply. That way your future will be bright whether we deal with another deep freeze, hurricane or rolling blackouts. Whether you get a portable unit you can use in the outdoors or get something more substantial to power your whole home or business, Generator Mart and Generator Source have you covered. No only is it nice to have reliable, backup power, but imagine how much time, money and more you’ll lose if you don’t keep your freezer cold, water pump working and never miss a beat.
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