by Dorothy Philbin | CNBNews Contributor
Nowhere in PSE&G's e-mail does it say anything (even in the fine print) about the thermostat being changed remotely. This is a question that needs to be asked and answered. In June of this year USA Today1 printed an article about this program being used in Texas. Customers were "given the opportunity" to sign up for the program. Shortly thereafter people found their houses much warmer than they set the thermostat. This was during the summer and one couple found their thermostat had been raised to 78 degrees in the middle of the day. Some people said this was being done without their consent.
In the Texas advertisement phrases such as "may briefly, a few degrees, altered remotely, up to 4 degrees, 2 to 8 times a summer" were used. They are vague terms, hardly a contract.
PSE&G calls their program the "Marketplace" and is in co-operation with several manufactures of smart thermostats. Each partner manufacturer can charge what it wants and PSE&G offers a $100 discount. There are only two thermostats which are priced so they are free. The others range from $29 to $99. Add to that tax and shipping fees. Then there are the usual caveats "limited time only, restrictions apply, limitations apply."
Whether you decide to accept the offer is up to you. What are your priorities? Your finances? If you decide to go into this make sure to ask all the right questions, especially whether you can opt out if you aren't happy.
1 @brettmolina23. USA Today, June 19, 2021
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