Saturday, October 17, 2015


We never win anything. I play the lottery a dozen times a year and never win. ( if I played more often I am sure I would be a winner!) I have always participated in the yearly raffle that the high school puts on and have never won the new car; donated by a local dealer. You name it and I've never won it.

But yesterday my luck has changed. I had entered our name with the power company for a chance to win a new 'Smart Thermostat'. It will be a 'Nest' or something similar. Our old thermostat is 14 years old and was new when the house was built. It's supposedly very simple to operate. I've never been able to master it and so I go to it quite often to change it...or, lately, I've found it easier to set it to one temperature and leave it 24/7. Bad! But when your hip hurts and you sometimes need a cane, getting up to change is not all that easy.

PG&E's Smart Thermostat Study

Thank you for your interest in participating in the Smart Thermostat Study. This 12-month study—only open to a small group of participants—will help us evaluate the innovative technology of smart thermostats.
Smart thermostats are considered “smart” because they automatically monitor and adjust themselves to better manage energy used for heating and cooling. Customers can control them remotely via Wi-Fi-connected devices such as smartphones, tablets and personal computers.
The goal of this study is to test new thermostat features and measure potential energy savings so we can gather information that will help us determine incentives we may offer in the future.

What to Expect

Study participants will need to sign our Participation Agreement at the time of installation. The agreement outlines all the obligations participants must fulfill including the following:
  • Completion of up to four online surveys about their home, energy usage and thermostat during the 12-month study period.
  • Maintenance of a fully operational central heating and cooling system as well as Wi-Fi service.

I'm really looking forward to the day, the 31st of this month, when I will be able to simply turn on my iPhone and change the temperature. I can do it when I'm far away or from the couch. Imagine; I'm at my sister's house in AZ and I wonder if we forgot to turn the system down before we drove to the airport? I open the app and verify or change the temperature. The thermostat will also be learning our habits and the times we want heat or cold and which season we want these temperatures. After a time of learning, the thermostat will automatically change the the temps for us. This is going to save some money! 

I wonder if they (the power company) realize that we recently became solar power users and they already owe us $16.72 for the past two months where we were selling our excess power to them?

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