Smart thermostats inadvertently strain electric power grids

Read the full story from Cornell University.

Smart thermostats – those inconspicuous wall devices that help homeowners govern electricity usage and save energy – may be falling into a dumb trap.

Set by default to turn on before dawn, the smart thermostats unintentionally work in concert with other thermostats throughout neighborhoods and regions to prompting inadvertent, widespread energy-demand spikes on the grid.

The smart thermostats are saving homeowners money, but they are also initiating peak demand throughout the network at a bad time of day, according to Cornell engineers in a forthcoming paper in Applied Energy (September 2022.)

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