Graham County Electric Cooperative (GCEC) is launching a new program!
Enrolling in the Program
When you enroll in the GCEC smart thermostat program, you will receive:
An ecobee3 lite smart thermostat
Free installation by a licensed electrician
An annual bill credit of $100 for participating in at least 65% of annual adjustment events
To participate in the smart thermostat program, you must:
Be a GCEC member
Be the homeowner of the GCEC-served house
Sign a participation agreement
Have an internet-connected, Wi-Fi-enabled home
You will receive a voucher for a new smart thermostat, including installation. Your contractor can come by and pick up the thermostat from GCEC and install it at your earliest convenience. After the installation, the vendor will turn the voucher into GCEC for payment.
Your installation will depend on your contractor’s schedule.
GCEC will cover the entire cost of the smart thermostat.
GCEC is offering the ecobee3 lite thermostat, although other models may be offered in the future.
Right now, you can choose to receive an ecobee3 lite thermostat from GCEC and have it installed in place of your existing smart thermostat. However, GCEC may expand program enrollment in the future to members with existing smart thermostats, including certain models by ecobee, Honeywell, Emerson, and Nest.
GCEC-initiated adjustment events occur when GCEC adjusts your thermostat’s set point to curb demand on the electric grid. Adjustment events are four hours long. In the first hour, GCEC will pre-cool or pre-heat your home. In hours two through four, GCEC will incrementally increase or decrease your thermostat’s set point from its regularly scheduled setting. See the table above. Please note that GCEC will not turn off your thermostat at any time.
Adjustment events occur on high energy-demand days during winter or summer. Reducing electricity demand on these days helps to keep energy prices lower for all members.
GCEC will email you the day before or the day of an event.
Adjustment events may occur up to five times per month without exceeding 30 events per year. Up to two events may occur in the same week, possibly on successive days.
GCEC is looking for an opportunity to reduce electricity demand on days when it’s coldest or hottest because it helps keep its energy prices lower for all members.
Participation is 100% voluntary. If you choose to enroll, you have the ability to opt out of up to 35% of event hours in a year – participating in 65% of the total event hours – and still earn a $100 bill credit. For example, if GCEC has 10 events in one year, each for the maximum of four hours, that’s 40 total event hours, and a participant would need to have participated in at least 26 of those hours to earn the bill credit. You can opt out of one hour at a time or an entire four-hour event – the choice is yours. But because we can’t predict the weather a year in advance, we encourage our participants to keep track of their control hours throughout the year.
A properly installed and configured ecobee smart thermostat has been shown to save up to 23% in heating and cooling costs during normal operation. Yet on days when adjustment events occur, more energy will be required to pre-cool or pre-heat your home and to return your home to its regularly scheduled set point after the adjustment event concludes. On event days, you may not save energy from having your thermostat adjusted.
You can unenroll from the program at any time by contacting GCEC. However, if you un-enroll within one year of your installation, you may be charged for the cost of the thermostat and installation.