Ontario program to pay smart thermostat owners for summer temperature control

Smart Thermostat

TORONTO - The provincial government is rolling out an energy conservation program that will pay residents with smart thermostats to lower their air conditioning during certain periods in the summer.

Residential customers who sign up for the Peak Perks program will receive a $75 prepaid credit card in exchange for giving their smart thermostat manufacturer secure access to the device.

There would be up to 10 times during peak periods of electricity consumption between June and September during which their thermostat would be adjusted two to four degrees.

The government says the adjustment would typically last for no more than three hours, wouldn't be on weekends or holidays, and participants can opt out of any temperature change.

The Progressive Conservatives cancelled a number of energy conservation programs early in their first term in government, and critics have said their new $342-million suite of programs doesn't replace what existed previously.

Energy Minister Todd Smith says Ontario's electricity grid was in a different situation then, with a surplus of power that was sometimes being sold at a loss to neighbouring jurisdictions.