Denver: Xcel Energy Locks 22k Customers Out of Thermostats Due to “Energy Emergency”

by J Pelkey
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The summer of 2022 has been particularly rough with blistering heat and high humidity. But when some 22k Xcel Energy customers in Denver attempted to adjust their thermostats to make their homes more comfortable, they learned that they could not do so.

Xcel Energy confirmed that the 22,000 customers who lost control of their thermostats had signed up for a voluntary program that is based on incentives.

From Denver 7:

Temperatures climbed into the 90s Tuesday, which is why Tony Talarico tried to crank up the air conditioning in his partner’s Arvada home.

“I mean, it was 90 out, and it was right during the peak period,” Talarico said. “It was hot.”

That’s when he saw a message on the thermostat stating the temperature was locked due to an “energy emergency.”

“Normally, when we see a message like that, we’re able to override it,” Talarico said. “In this case, we weren’t. So, our thermostat was locked in at 78 or 79.”

Xcel confirmed to Contact Denver7 that 22,000 customers who had signed up for the Colorado AC Rewards program were locked out of their smart thermostats for hours on Tuesday.

The AC Rewards Program Details:

Newsletter Signup

AC Rewards Program Details

A smart thermostat provides an easy and convenient way to manage your home’s heating and cooling comfort, as well as costs. Now, it’s easier than ever for you to experience a convenient, energy-saving lifestyle with long-term benefits.

As an added bonus, you’ll receive a onetime $100 enrollment bill credit for joining the AC Rewards program and earn $25 every year you participate in the program.

How AC Rewards Works

By participating in AC Rewards, adjustments are made to your smart thermostat during the hottest summer days. When the demand for electricity is the highest, you’ll help us manage these peaks and ease the strain on the electrical grid. You’ll be cut back on the time your central air works to cool your home with control events.

Control events may occur anytime during the cooling season. You’ll have the ability to opt out of control events at any time and receive optional notifications of control events, either from your thermostat, mobile device, or web app. On rare occasions, system emergencies may cause a control event that cannot be overridden.

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