Bring Your Own Thermostat FAQ
How do I register to participate in the Bring Your Own Thermostat pilot?
The enrollment period for the Bring Your Own Thermostat pilot is now closed. We have since begun the evaluation portion of the pilot, meaning that we don't intend to open the registration process again.
If the pilot is successful, we may offer a similar program to all of our residential customers. At earliest, this program would be made available in Fall 2016, or even in 2017. We would likely advertise the program by email if you are a subscriber, or you could check for it at www.HydroOne.com/MyHome/SaveEnergy.
Why is Hydro One introducing this pilot?
The purpose of this pilot is to assess the ability of smart thermostats to save energy and provide bill savings to customers over a one-year period.
What are the requirements for participating in the Bring Your Own Thermostat pilot?
In order to be eligible for participation in the pilot, you must:
- Be a Hydro One customer (note: Hydro One Brampton customers are not currently eligible)
- Have a central air conditioning system
- Have installed one of the pre-approved Wi-Fi connected thermostats after October 1st, 2013
- Have connected the eligible thermostat to the Internet – if you are currently able to adjust your thermostat via web or mobile app, your thermostat is connected.
Tell me about the Bring Your Own Thermostat pilot.
Hydro One is testing a new approach for helping our customers save energy while contributing to the reduction of the overall cost of generating electricity in Ontario.
Through the Bring Your Own Thermostat pilot, Hydro One has selected and pre-approved a number of smart thermostats.
These thermostats have successfully reduced energy consumption in other jurisdictions, so Hydro One would like to determine whether this could help our customers save energy here in Ontario.
Which thermostats qualify for this pilot?
Hydro One has chosen specific models of smart thermostats from leaders in the thermostat industry for the Bring Your Own Thermostat pilot.
These companies have participated in similar pilots with other North American electric utilities. The partners include:
- EnergyHub (representing Alarm.com, Ecobee, and Radio Thermostat)
Radio Thermostat CT-100
Nest Learning Thermostat
To qualify, participants must use one of these specific models offered by these partners. These choices will be offered on the pilot’s enrolment pages.
Please note that if you have not yet purchased one of the pre-qualified thermostats but would like to participate in the pilot, we recommend that you purchase your thermostat in-store. Shipping can take time, and we wouldn’t want you to miss the enrolment window because of it.
These thermostats can be newly installed or previously purchased after October 1st, 2013.
Why can I not participate if I installed my thermostat before October 1st, 2013?
To measure the energy savings achieved using a smart thermostat, we need to compare your energy usage both before and after you installed your new qualified Wi-Fi connected thermostat. Thermostat installation after October 1st, 2013 will allow us sufficient data to determine whether the thermostat is providing energy savings.
Will any more thermostat brands or models be approved to participate in the pilot?
No. Only the thermostat brands and models listed above will be qualified to participate in the pilot. If the pilot proves successful, there may be new brands invited to participate in the future.
Do these thermostats help Ontario’s electrical system?
Yes. On very hot summer days when there is a spike in demand for electricity, Hydro One may adjust the temperature of your thermostat by a few degrees to reduce the strain on the electricity system. This may only occur on weekdays from May 1st to September 30th between 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., with a maximum of 10 adjustment events per year. The events never last longer than four hours or take place on weekends or statutory holidays. If, during such an event, the temperature begins to feel uncomfortably warm, participants can adjust their temperature at any time.
These events are called demand response events, and have been part of Ontario Power Authority’s peaksaver PLUS® Program for the province of Ontario since 2006.
Finally, Hydro One is testing the reliability of using the Internet to conduct demand response events.
Can I change the temperature during an event?
Yes. If at any time during a demand response event you begin to feel too warm, you can simply adjust your thermostat. This option is always available.
Is there anything else that participants will be asked to do?
Participants will be asked to complete three online surveys. The first will ask about their experience with the enrolment process. The second will take place after participants have taken part in their first demand response event. The final one will be conducted once the pilot has concluded.
Participants who complete all three surveys will then be mailed an additional one-time $25 cheque for sharing their experiences and opinions. These surveys help Hydro One determine whether we should offer a similar program to all customers.
What data are you collecting?
In order to measure the energy savings achieved using a smart thermostat, we will compare your historic usage (from 12 to 14 months prior to activation of your smart thermostat) to your new smart thermostat usage. We will not share this information, and will only use it for the purposes of the pilot project.
How will data be collected?
There are three main ways we will collect data from customers:
- We will be provided basic enrollment data from our thermostat partners to verify that you are a Hydro One customer.
- We will collect answers from you directly through the surveys. This will help Hydro One understand your experience and determine whether it would be good for other customers.
- We will examine your utility billing data during the pilot and compare it with prior years to determine if you saved energy with their new Wi-Fi connected thermostats.
Will I be provided a report of my energy savings?
To ensure the privacy of the customers enrolled in the pilot, the data will be aggregated and made anonymous so no specific details on energy savings can be provided on a customer-by-customer basis.
If I have a problem with my thermostat, whom do I contact?
The thermostat is still owned by you and provided by the thermostat company. Any problems with the thermostat should be directed to the thermostat company.
When will I receive my incentive cheques?
Each participant will be eligible to receive 2 incentive cheques. The first cheque, for a one-time incentive of $100 for pilot participation, will arrive 6 – 8 weeks after the participant has received email confirmation of registration in the pilot.
The second cheque, for a one-time incentive of $25, will arrive 6 – 8 weeks after the participant has completed the final survey, but only if the participant has completed all three surveys. The final survey will take place in early 2016.
Can I opt out of the pilot?
Yes. You can go to the thermostat partner’s website or smart phone app and opt yourself out of the pilot entirely. You would do this directly with your thermostat company.