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New ecobee Thermostat Update Helps Prevent Power Outages During Severe Weather

Smart home device maker ecobee has released anew update to its eco+ Community Energy Savings feature that will alert homeowners and automatically adjust their home’s temperature when their home is at risk of a power outage due to extreme weather.

According to the Toronto-based company, the feature is designed to protect consumers from power outages during North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) Emergency Event Alert or equivalent events. Customers not already enrolled in a utility demand response program will see an alert on their ecobee smart thermostat and mobile app informing them that they are at risk of an outage.

Customers will then receive recommended, automated temperature adjustments to help ensure the stability of the local power grid.

According to ecobee, customers can opt out of any changes before or during the event. Temperatures will only be adjusted 1-4 degrees and for no more than four hours.

The smart device manufacturer, citing NERC, states that two-thirds or North America is at risk of energy shortages during high-demand periods that stress the energy grid. The update is designed to reduce demand and strain on the grid to help avoid outages.

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ecobee says its thermostats have several other energy saving features, all of which help save up to 26% on annual heating and cooling costs for a home held at 72 degrees.

The company says the update gives customers an automated solution for home energy resiliency and reflects ecobee’s commitment to sustainability and helping communities conserve energy and reduce emissions.

Homeowners can also choose to participate in their utility’s demand response program to take advantage of those automated adjustments more often and receive a financial incentive from their provider.

“Everyone has a role to play in conserving energy and helping ensure grid stability,” says Kari Binley, senior manager of energy partnerships at ecobee. “This update helps communities take control of their energy savings and avoid potentially dangerous outages during high demand periods.”

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