Texas residents had the temperature in their homes raised on their web-connected smart thermostats without their permission during a heat wave.
Prior to their home temperatures being raised to 78 degrees, the state’s electricity operators had warned of another round of power shortages due to people running their air conditioners too much.
“The Big Brother temperature manipulation comes after the Texas energy grid failed this past winter when rolling blackouts left millions without power and 700 dead during February’s devastating winter storms,” the Daily Mail noted.
The report continues on to explain that “it turns out, people had handed over control of their thermostats – at least some people not realizing it – when they signed up for a sweepstakes called ‘Smart Savers Texas’ operated by a company called Energy Hub. The sweepstakes entered them into a contest to win free electricity for a year.”
To enter the sweepstakes, customers had to opt-into in to a program that allows the power companies to remotely adjust their home thermostats when energy demands are high.
Deer Park resident Brandon English told KHOU that when he got home from work his house was unbearably hot. He has a three month old baby and was also concerned about her safety as they were taking an afternoon nap when the three hour “energy saver” event began.
“They’d been asleep long enough that the house had already gotten to 78 degrees,” English said. “So they woke up sweating.”
The Texan has now unenrolled from the program.
“Was my daughter at the point of overheating?” English said. “She’s 3 months old. They dehydrate very quickly.”
English told the station that the thermostat was convenient, but not worth losing so much control.
“If somebody else can manipulate this, I’m not for it,” he said.