Tucson Electric Power is giving away smart thermostats to help limited-income apartment residents conserve energy.
Nest Learning Thermostats will be installed in nearly 1,800 apartments in the Tucson area by the end of the year as part of a new pilot energy efficiency program.
Nest thermostats are designed to adjust to customers’ needs, comfort levels and seasons. The thermostats automatically adapt to their users about a week after they’re installed, warming or cooling a home when residents are home and making energy-saving adjustments when they are out.
According to the Nest website, customers save an average of 10 to 12 percent on heating bills and 15 percent on cooling bills when using the high-tech thermostats.
“It’s important to offer new, innovative products to our customers in this rapidly changing technology market,” said Desiree Dillard, a TEP Energy Efficiency Program Coordinator.
TEP is adding the thermostats to a package of energy-saving items given to customers who qualify for limited-income programs. Those packages also include LED and CFL bulbs, faucet aerators and low-flow showerheads.
The packages are provided to limited-income residents of affordable-housing complexes, which must be all electric.
TEP’s sister company, UniSource Energy Services, will provide Nest thermostats to about 210 residents of apartment complexes in Nogales and Kingman.