(BLP) – States are going green, and they have big plans for the future. Even if they haven’t fully thought through energy production and what that could mean for the average American household.
Today’s story is a cautionary example of that, as smart thermostat company Xcel reportedly locked out “thousands” – nearly 22,000 – customers in Colorado.
Refusing to let them set their thermostats below 78 degrees during a heatwave and “energy emergency.”
This was the report per local ABC news:
During the dog days of summer, it’s important to keep your home cool. But when thousands of Xcel customers in Colorado tried adjusting their thermostats Tuesday, they learned they had no control over the temperatures in their own homes.
Temperatures climbed into the 90s Tuesday, which is why Tony Talarico tried to crank up the air conditioning in his partner’s Arvada home.
“I mean, it was 90 out, and it was right during the peak period,” Talarico said. “It was hot.”
That’s when he saw a message on the thermostat stating the temperature was locked due to an “energy emergency.”
“Normally, when we see a message like that, we’re able to override it,” Talarico said. “In this case, we weren’t. So, our thermostat was locked in at 78 or 79.”
What is shocking is that this smart thermostat has the ability to alter how its customers use the product they purchased. On top of the fact that an “energy emergency” can be declared at any time for any reason.
Some Xcel thermostat users reported on social media that their home temperatures were “as high as 88 degrees.” Again, during a Colorado heatwave.
The smart company would eventually confirm that “22,000 customers who had signed up for the Colorado AC Rewards program were locked out of their smart thermostats for hours on Tuesday.”
Of course, the company casted blame onto the customers who “voluntarily” signed up for the program and “choose to be a part of [it]based on the incentives.”
“It is a bit uncomfortable for a short period of time,” Xcel vice president of customer solutions and innovation, Emmett Romine, explained. “But it’s very, very helpful.”
Notably, this is the same rhetoric we have routinely heard from green energy pioneers; there may be some drawbacks to our process, but ultimately those don’t matter when one thinks about the greater mission.
So while quality of life diminishes, and Americans are told to lower their standards in an effort to quell environmental concerns, the government reserves its right to declare an “energy emergency” whenever it seems fit.
Even though Xcel is a private company, this story shows just how much power the government has when it comes to the so-called greater good. Especially when it comes to the climate and green energy.
Remember: These things always start off as voluntary.