Smart Thermostat Program

Graham County Electric Cooperative (GCEC) is launching a new program!

GCEC is launching a program to help curb electricity use when demand for energy is highest, which keeps energy prices lower for all members. Participants get a free smart thermostat when they agree to allow GCEC to adjust the thermostat’s temperature for short amounts of time on these high-demand days.

Please know that GCEC will never turn off your thermostat! There will never be more than 30 adjustment events in a year, and you always have the ability to override the adjustment. And when you participate in at least 65% of the events, you’ll get an annual bill credit of $100.

Example winter and summer adjustment events are shown in the tables below. The start time of an event varies based on the condition of the electric grid and will never exceed 4 hours.

Example Winter Adjustment Event

Thermostat setting is at 68° and event begins at 5 a.m.

Time Thermostat Setting
5 to 6 a.m. Thermostat adjusts to 70°
6 to 7 a.m. Thermostat adjusts to 66°
7 to 8 a.m. Thermostat adjusts to 65°
8 to 9 a.m. Thermostat adjusts to 64°
After 9 a.m. Thermostat returns to 68°, event ends

Example Summer Adjustment Event

Thermostat setting is at 78° and event begins at 3 p.m.

Time Thermostat Setting
3 to 4 p.m. Thermostat adjusts to 76°
4 to 5 p.m. Thermostat adjusts to 80°
5 to 6 p.m. Thermostat adjusts to 81°
6 to 7 p.m. Thermostat adjusts to 82°
After 7 p.m. Thermostat returns to 78°, event ends

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

Participation Agreement

Homeowner Information

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


What happens after I submit the participation agreement?

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.

What if I already have a smart thermostat?

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.

What are GCEC-initiated adjustment events?

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.

How often do adjustment events occur?

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.

What if I don’t want GCEC to control my thermostat?

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.