Xcel Test Smart Summer Home Savings

Xcel Energy, a utility that serves over 3.5 million customers in eight Western and Midwestern states, has announced a pilot program to test combining smart thermostats with multiple data sources to optimize air conditioning efficiency (and costs) this summer. It’s called the MyHome AC Rewards smart energy program and is being rolled out in the Denver and Minneapolis/St. Paul markets.

Smarter Than Smart

MyHome AC Rewards is a home energy management program that works with an ecobee® smart thermostat to integrate the device’s functions with Xcel usage data, weather forecasts, and other information sources to add an extra layer of energy-saving intelligence.

It uses the ecobee thermostat’s functions like comfort preferences, home-and-away schedules, and optional room sensors to learn your family’s energy use profile and combines it with Xcel data to find the best match between your usage patterns and the utility’s energy savings options.

Comfort Plus Savings

Using the ecobee data from your individual situation, MyHome is able to anticipate energy needs and tailor them to Xcel’s resources. According to Xcel, this provides:

  • Personalized energy efficiency insights and tips based on your unique energy identity
  • The ability to see savings projections and energy trends for your home
  • A more environmentally friendly way to consume energy
  • A more efficient and comfortable home for the summer

Thermostat Compatibility

The MyHome AC Rewards pilot program has been designed to work exclusively with the ecobee line of smart thermostats during the test period. If the program is successful, we expect it could be adapted to other smart thermostats, but Xcel has made no such representations.

Wiring Smart Thermostats

Most smart thermostats require what’s known as a “c-wire.” Also called a common wire, it provides a low voltage power source to operate the thermostat’s functions.

Many older homes with thermostats with mercury switches or battery-powered thermostats don’t have a c-wire installed. To check if you have one, open your thermostat cover and look at the wiring connections. If you see a wire connected to a terminal marked “C,” you have a c-wire. If not, it may be possible to use an extra existing wire if one is present.

Have Questions? Call a Pro

Smart thermostats can be expensive—some are $250 and up. Don’t risk costly mistakes if you’re not sure about installing one yourself.

The pros at Allstar Electrical Services are experts at smart home wiring. Give us a call at 303.399.7420 or visit our website. Then use our handy on-line forms to request an estimate or set up an appointment.

We also offer 24/7 radio-dispatched emergency service throughout our Front Range service area.

More information about the MyHome AC Rewards program from Xcel Energy is available here.

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