Do you want your electric utility to be able to turn off your air conditioner in mid-summer without your consent?
After over a year of barreling forward toward requirements for programmable communicating thermostats (PCTs) to be installed in new homes starting next year, the California Energy Commission has decided wisely to step back and take a closer look at the implications. As envisioned by the CEC and California utilities, PCTs would help reduce demand during peak periods.
Last week, however, the CEC announced that it was dropping the PCT requirements from its draft "Title 24" regulations and folding them into a new project on load management and demand response.
This decision came after some high profile coverage in The New York Times and apparently some expressions of outrage from Golden State consumers.
Sacramento's drive for PCTs is not over, it's only been slowed a bit. But we can also expect that any final decision from the CEC will require PCTs to include a "consumer override" option. This will get closer to NEMA's vision of the Smart Grid, where consumers will have "the choice and flexibility to manage their electrical use while minimizing costs."