Thousands of Coloradans learned on Tuesday that they have no control over the temperature in their own homes when they saw a message from Xcel Energy on their thermostats saying the temperature had been locked at 78 degrees due to an “energy emergency.”
Coloradans took to Twitter to express outrage at the heavy-handed energy lockdown:
According to ABC Denver:
Xcel confirmed to Contact Denver7 that 22,000 customers who had signed up for the Colorado AC Rewards program were locked out of their smart thermostats for hours on Tuesday.
“It’s a voluntary program. Let’s remember that this is something that customers choose to be a part of based on the incentives,” said Emmett Romine, vice president of customer solutions and innovation at Xcel.
Customers receive a $100 credit for enrolling in the program and $25 annually, but Romine said customers also agree to give up some control to save energy and money and make the system more reliable.
At least one Xcel customer had enough and tweeted on Wednesday that he had unenrolled from the company’s “bullshit” and urged other Coloradans to do the same: