KANSAS CITY, Mo. - In an effort to help customers save money and energy this summer, Kansas City Power & Light plans to install 35,000 free Nest Learning Thermostats around town.
"The way the program works is KCP&L will provide a free Nest thermostat to customers so that they can help take control of their energy usage," said Brian File, a spokesperson for KCP&L.
Not only is the company trying to help you save money during the heat of the summer, but they're trying to lower energy demand during peak times.
"Think about during rush hour, you don't want to have everyone be on the highway at the same time. Similar with the electric grid, you don't want everyone to have all their ACs on at the exact same time, so this allows us to help manage the electric grid," said File.
The way the thermostat program works is you sign up to be enrolled in the Rush Hour Rewards Program. From that point, it's simple for the customer.
"It's super easy... You turn on the temperature to whatever you want to hold it for a period of time. It's a lot easier than what's been in the past where you had to open the box, click the certain buttons, and know how you want to do it," said File.
If you sign up, KCP&L will pay you to help reduce the load on the electrical grid, meaning times during a heat wave or cold front. One customer says by helping them, he's also helped himself, saving quite a bit of cash.
"They say it will save you 15 to 20 percent on your energy bills and you know just talking to my neighbors around here that have similar-sized homes and different things like that, our energy costs are much lower than theirs," said area resident Barry Ledford.
Another feature the smart thermostat has? An app for your smart phone.
"One of the biggest features to me is the app and being able to control it over the phone, so if we go out of town, we go camping or something like that, forget to change it, I can hop on my phone and turn it to ECO or I can just turn the temperature up so that the AC's not running," said Ledford.
KCP&L will also pay you $25 for participating in a Demand Response Event, a time when demand for energy is high. The Nest thermostat will do all of the work. Nest will send a signal via Wi-Fi and modify the temperature to save you energy.
The Kansas Corporation Commission is expected to issue an order this week regarding whether or not KCP&L can offer its customer programs like the thermostat program to customers in Kansas.