digital thermostat

22,000 Homes Have Their Thermostats Locked In Hot Weather Over ‘Energy Emergency’

Just last week, several utility company customers in Colorado had a problem with their thermostats. Apparently, thousands of customers had been locked out of changing the temperature on the thermostat. Xcel Energy, a utility company that is based in Minneapolis, which provides power to customers in Denver claimed that this was due to an energy emergency. Needless to say, this sparked some massive outrage the spilled onto social media. According to KMGH-TV, close to 22,000 customers in Denver had lost control of their thermostats.

As it turns out, all these customers were a part of the Colorado AC Rewards program to save energy. Some customers, like Tony Talarico of Arvada, mentioned that when they tried to increase the AC on the thermostat, a message declaring an energy emergency greeted them. And this was definitely quite problematic- as the temperature reached 90. The user mentioned, “Normally when we see a message like that, we’re able to override it. In this case, we weren’t. So, our thermostat was locked in at 78 or 79.“[1] 

A voluntary program

According to further reports, only participants of a voluntary program received these thermostats. This program offered money in exchange for giving up control of one’s thermostat. Xcel gave these customers a sum of $100 when they signed up for the program. According to further announcements, Xcel would be paying them $25 every year thereafter. The shutdown that took place last week was the only occurrence in the 6-year long history of the program. Emmett Romine, the VP of customer solutions and innovations for the company stated, “Let’s remember that this is something that customers choose to be a part of based on the incentives. So, it helps everybody for people to participate in these programs. It is a bit uncomfortable for a short period of time, but it’s very, very helpful.”[2]

The apparent emergency was based on high temperatures and AC usage that created an outage in Pueblo, Colorado, Romine said.

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Conservatives on social media have now heavily criticized the company-stated “emergency”. Some of them even stated that this could be an indication of what the future held. Comedian Tim Young went on to tweet, “In case you’re wondering what will happen if we have all digital currency and electric vehicles.” Ned Ryun, an American Greatness Senior Fellow tweeted, “This is every American’s future if we allow the freakish Left to implement the Green New Deal.” Other participating customers for this program also expressed their shock at this announcement. One user mentioned, “Even if it’s a once-in-a-blue-moon situation, it just doesn’t sit right with us to not be able to control our own thermostat in our house.

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Some believe this is a gateway to government control

The actual message that was shown over the smart thermostat reads, “Temperature locked temporarily during an energy emergency. Due to a rare energy emergency that may affect the local energy grid, your temperature slider has been changed from 8 am- 8 pm because you enrolled in a Community Energy Savings program.” Such a ‘leftist’ thing, as the right considers it to be, has also earned the reputation of being. According to the conservatives, this is a move by the Government, as well as the private sector, to start exerting more control over the lives of people. 

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While the company has mentioned that the customers willingly signed up for the program, it is the very nature of it that has riled people up. The fact that the owners could not change the thermostat on a whim has resulted in massive outrage. The Right believes that this is going to take place again and again. In fact, they think that different versions of the same totalitarian governmental regime exist in other states of the country. California, as an example, has already mandated the sale and purchase of electric cars. The Golden State has also asked its citizens to limit the charging if they have electric cars. Interestingly, the Spanish government has also launched a major crackdown on AC usage.[3] 

Truthfully speaking, despite what some think, the fact that the users can’t control was their own decision. Also, it points to a far greater issue- the increasing cost of climate change. And even though some have been clamoring about government interference in everyday lives, one can’t deny the increasing risk of climate change and its impact on infrastructure.

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Sources

  1. Colorado utility company locks 22,000 thermostats in 90 degree weather due to ‘energy emergency’.” Fox Business. Andrew Miller. September 2, 2022.
  2. So Not Cool: Energy Company Locks Colorado Residents Out Of Their Smart Thermostats.” Huff Post. Ben Blanchet. September 2, 2022.
  3. 22,000 smart thermostats in Colorado locked over ‘energy emergency,’ sparking outrage.” BGR. Andy Meek. September 3, 2022.
Mayukh Saha
Freelance Writer
Mayukh is a Content Marketer and Social Media Manager with over 5 years of experience in the industry. Mayukh believes in the power of content; how it can positively impact lives, scale businesses and touch people. In his spare time Mayukh likes to read about latest tech trends and loves to travel in the nature. You can reach him at [email protected]
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