CUMMING — Sawnee EMC recently announced a new program designed for members who have an Internet-connected HVAC thermostat, also known as a “smart” thermostat.
The Cumming-based electric services cooperative has joined with EnergyHub, a provider of Internet-connected device management for utilities, to launch the new Sawnee Smart Savers Program.
Members can receive a monetary incentive for enrolling their smart thermostat into what the company described as a money-saving demand response program.
Sawnee EMC’s existing demand response program, Load Management, which has been used for more than 30 years, uses a physical switch that is connected to a home’s outside HVAC unit and is activated with a radio signal from the cooperative.
Load Management has about 40,000 participants and “continues to be very successful,” said Cindy Badgett, a spokeswoman for Sawnee EMC.
The new Smart Savers program, which is open for enrollment, will be able to activate HVAC demand response by communicating with a participant’s smart thermostat, which is Wi-Fi or home security enabled.
In this program, there is no need for a Load Management switch to be installed, as the smart thermostat serves as the switch.
“We consider it to be the next generation for our Load Management program, which has been very successful,” said Blake House, vice president of member services at Sawnee EMC.
“Technology is changing, and we needed an option for our members who wanted to participate in our conventional Load Management program but were unable for various reasons.”
He said Smart Savers is one of the “most innovative program we have ever offered.”
Sawnee members who want to apply must have, or agree to purchase and install, a qualifying Wi-Fi-enabled smart thermostat.
They then need to enroll the thermostat into the program at sawnee.com/smartsavers.
Members who enroll in the program by July 15 will receive a $50 credit for each qualifying thermostat.
For more information, visit sawnee.com/smartsavers.