Ecobee smart thermostat owners who pay for their electricity on a Time of Use rate can now enable a new feature called Peak Relief, which is designed to cut your utility bills.
Because the cost of electricity varies throughout the day, the Ecobee's Peak Relief can save you money by only heating or cooling your home when power is at its cheapest.
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For example, if your smart thermostat is already programmed to cool the home to a set temperature when you get home each summer evening, Peak Relief will adjust this cooling slightly to use power when it is cheaper earlier in the day.
That way, the majority of cooling is done when electricity is cheaper in the late-afternoon, so less will be required when the prices increase in the evening, when there is more demand.
Peak Relief takes into account electricity rates, as well as your comfort preferences, the home's energy efficiency, and local weather forecasts - because there's no point wasting money on heating when the sun's about to come out.
Ecobee explains: "Peak relief considers all this data and runs your heating or cooling just before peak times, for the right amount of time. Plus, Peak Relief helps reduce the demand on your community's energy usage, helping reduce the risk of blackouts in your neighbourhood.
Once enabled, there are two modes of Peak Relief. One sticks to your original comfort preferences, but will try to save money where it can. The second will stray slightly out of your comfort zone - so to speak - and adjust the home's temperature by a couple of degrees in a bid to make bigger energy savings.
Peak Relief is available for owners of the Ecobee3, Ecbobee3 Lite or Ecobee4 smart thermostat, but for now only as part of a pilot in California, Ontario and Arizona.