Texas residents say the temperature on their ‘smart’ web-connected thermostats was changed without their permission after the state’s electricity operators had warned of another round of power shortages amid a heat wave.
The thermostats were raised to 78 degrees without their knowledge – sometimes even as families slept in the middle of the night. Raising the temperature on the thermostat would cause an air conditioner to run less – therefore using less power.
The Big Brother temperature manipulation comes after the Texas energy grid failed this past winter when rolling blackouts left millions without power and 700 dead during February’s devastating winter storms.
Houston resident Brandon English said he didn’t realize his thermostat had been tampered with until after his wife and infant daughter ‘woke up sweating’ from an afternoon nap.
‘Was my daughter at the point of overheating?’ English said. ‘She’s 3 months old. They dehydrate very quickly,’ he told KHOU. It’s not clear how many thermostats were changed.