The Smart Thermostat Initiative, a partnership involving utilities, thermostat makers, the Citizens Utility Board (CUB), and the Environmental Law and Policy Center (ELPC), offers up to $175 in rebates for the money-saving devices.
What are Smart Thermostats?
Smart thermostats are devices connected to Wi-Fi that allow you to remotely modify your temperature settings from your smartphone, tablet or home computer. They’re designed to give consumers a more convenient way to control their energy usage and utility costs, and maintain comfort. The devices can help households save up to 20 percent on their heating and cooling costs.
How Much Would Smart Thermostats Cost Me?
The retail costs of smart thermostats range from $100-$250. However, certain qualifying customers are now eligible to receive up to $175 in rebates.
Do I Qualify for a Rebate?
Each utility has its own application process, so you should see the links below for details, but these are the general requirements. You must:
- Be a ComEd/Nicor Gas/Peoples Gas/North Shore Gas customer.
- Have Wi-fi, and compatible central air and a furnace.
- Purchase one of eight qualifying thermostats: the Allure Energy Eversense, Ecobee3, Honeywell Lyric, Lennox iComfort S30, LUX/GEO, Nest Learning Thermostat, the Radio Thermostat CT50, and the Radio Thermostat CT80.
- Purchase, install, and register the smart thermostat before May 31, 2017.
How Do I Get My Smart Thermostat Installed?
There are three ways:
- Install it yourself: You can buy, install and register a qualifying smart thermostat on your own. (You can find the devices at big-box hardware stores or online.) Available rebates: $150 ($100 from ComEd and $50 from your gas utility).
- Have a contractor install it: You can hire a professional contractor to install a qualifying smart thermostat. Available rebates: $175. (Same as above, but with an extra $25 from ComEd.)
- Have the utility install it: By participating in the utilities’ home energy assessment programs, you can receive the ecobee3 smart thermostat at a discounted price of $150, which also includes free installation. Note: No. 3 only pertains to the ecobee3.
How Do Smart Thermostats Work?
Smart thermostats use sensors that monitor temperature, humidity, and other variables continuously throughout the house. Some also come with technology that “learns” a user’s behavior over time to optimize comfort and generate savings automatically. For example, the thermostat can learn when you are typically in and out of the house, allowing it to build a heating/cooling schedule that matches your needs. Also, it can accurately gauge when your air conditioner should be turned off to save energy without changing the temperature noticeably.