American utilities are slowly starting to embrace using smart thermostats to help manage the energy consumption of their customers. On Tuesday startup EnergyHub will announce that two Southern cooperative utilities will be offering EnergyHub’s smart thermostat service to customers, after Texas energy service provider Reliant announced several weeks ago that it will be offering smart thermostat services from two Silicon Valley startups Nest and EcoFactor.
In a summer of record-breaking heat, and following an industry-wide trend of the power grid becoming increasingly digitized, utilities are looking for ways to both connect with their customers as well as better manage their customer’s energy consumption. During hours of peak demand (like a hot summer day) a utility’s electric grid can become impacted by too much energy use (picture everyone’s air conditioner blasting). This can cause blackouts, or require expensive power from peaker plants.