How Does Beat the Peak Work?
The program is simple! During times when the cost to purchase and produce power for members is high, we issue Beat the Peak alerts. During these alert periods, we ask members to conserve energy. We recommend you turn off unnecessary lights, delay to use of major appliances like dishwashers and dryers, and turn your thermostat up a few degrees in the summer. Over the years, the program has saved members thousands of dollars. Because VEC is a not-for-profit utility, those savings are passed on to you in the form of affordable rates. This program is becoming even more important as energy costs rise.
Ways to Participate in the VEC Beat The Peak Program
- Traditional Beat The Peak (Self-adjusted at Peak Times)
- Tradition Plus Smart Thermostat (Self-adjusted at Peak Times)
- Premium Beat The Peak (Self-adjusted and VEC-adjusted at Peak Times)
Please register for spring 2024 below.
Here is how the Premium Beat The Peak works:
By enrolling in our Beat the Peak Thermostat Program you also give Victoria Electric Cooperative the ability to nudge your smart thermostat up or down during peak usage times. For example, on the hottest day of the year when air conditioners are running in homes non-stop, we can adjust your smart thermostat by 2 degrees to reduce some of the power being used. With enough people moving up their thermostats, it will reduce the demand we’re all putting on the power grid, which, in turn, saves everyone money.
Why a Smart Thermostat:
Heating and cooling are the largest energy consumers in your home. If you're not home during the day, leaving your thermostat too high in the winter and too low in the summer is a big waste of energy. Smart thermostats allow you to control the climate in your home remotely (from your phone) and show your energy consumption in real time. ENERGY STAR-certified smart thermostats differ from regular and even programmable thermostats by learning your behaviors and adjusting automatically to maximize your energy usage.
Peak Thermostat Program
- Step 1: Check to see if you qualify for the program.
- Step 2: Select the device you want to connect.
- Step 3: Enroll with VEC BEAT the PEAK.
- Step 4: Get rewarded and start saving money.
Earn up to $255 in Your First Year!
Here's how it works
- Get a $100 bill credit now for enrolling in your eligible smart thermostat.
- Then you’ll get $70 at the end of the Beat the Peak (only if enrolled with eligible smart thermostat program).
- The second location with an eligible smart thermostat gets $50 upfront and $35 at the end of the Beat the Peak (if enrolled in with eligible smart thermostat program).
Click for smart thermostats
Participating Smart Thermostats
Amazon Using the Alexa App:
Amazon Smart Thermostat (S6ED3R)
Click for smart thermostats
Participating Smart Thermostats
Honeywell using Total Connect Comfort App:
T5+ Pro Smart Thermostat
T9 Pro Smart Thermostat
T10 Pro Smart Thermostat
Please Note: Homes with more than two programmable thermostats are not eligible for additional credit. From the time of signup, it could take 14 business days for approval by VEC. Once approved, you will receive an email directly letting you know you are now enrolled in the VEC BEAT the PEAK program.
During a Load Shed energy event, we notify our smart thermostat provider to temporarily adjust the temperature setting on your thermostat up to two degrees higher to limit A/C usage in your home You always have the ability to re-adjust the temperature during called events Overriding the automated upward adjustment of your thermostat could affect your Beat-The-Peak benefits.
A smart thermostat connects your heating and cooling systems to your smartphone, smart speaker, or other device. Depending on the thermostat, you can schedule your temperature settings, change the temperature remotely, and set reminders for scheduled maintenance. Some smart thermostats also use machine learning to understand your heating and cooling preferences and then adjust your settings based on those learnings.
Load shedding is a term used to describe a situation where there isn't enough electricity supply to meet consumer demand. In such cases, ERCOT may instruct electric utilities to implement controlled customer outages to reduce the customer demand for electricity on the ERCOT grid. This is done to help protect the electric grid and is known as involuntary load shedding. By limiting A/C usage, in participating homes during this time, it helps to reduce demand on the energy grid. The Beat the Peak program is being offered by VEC to offer an incentive to assist VEC reduce the amount of power being consumed when market prices are at their highest in an effort to reduce overall power cost for the VEC membership.
You can override an event by changing the temperature at the thermostat. Depending on the thermostat you have, you may see a notice that an energy event is taking place but can still proceed with any adjustment. Keep in mind, that overriding all events dispatched in a calendar year may affect your personal goals and benefits of the VEC Beat-The-Peak program.
ERCOT does not have direct access to your thermostat. Participation in the program is administered through our authorized thermostat service providers in partnership with qualifying thermostat manufacturers. By participating in the program, our authorized thermostat service provider (IPKeys) received thermostat details for the purposes of fulfilling your enrollment in the program. This includes but is not limited to, thermostat brand, model, serial number, online connectivity status (e.g., online/offline), and participation details during energy events. Such as thermostat mode (e.g., cool, heat, off) and whether your thermostat participated or opted out during an energy event.
No, you must sign up and remain in the Peak Thermostat Program to receive your bill credits. Why would we not provide them with the same credit for purchasing if they can provide proof of purchase?
Electricity purchased by VEC to power our members’ homes is more expensive during peak times across the 6-county region we belong to. While members don’t see a fluctuation in energy costs on their bills based on time, we do. If more energy is needed during these peak times, the co-op's energy costs will increase and can lead to rate increases the following year. This program is one of the ways we try to prevent rate increases.
When you enroll in this program, you’ll help save energy during “peak” usage times. This means you’ll be alerted before a Peak event when your smart thermostat will automatically adjust temperatures before/during a peak time to reduce energy use across the power grid. But don’t worry, if you ever get uncomfortable, you can simply change the temperature on your smart thermostat.
After enrollment, any changes to your smart thermostat will happen between June 1 and September 30 and will only change by two degrees. A Peak thermostat event can occur up to five times per week, with a maximum of 15 peak thermostat events per Peak program season. (Weekends and holidays are excluded from peak thermostat events.) Please remember that your smart thermostat must be connected to your Wi-Fi for these changes to take place.
When a Peak Event is identified, normally your smart thermostat will pre-cool your home by 1 or 2 degrees for 1 hour before the peak thermostat event, then automatically change the temperature setpoint up by two degrees in your home on that day without any manual intervention by you as long as your smart thermostat is connected to your wi-fi. Peak thermostat events could occur anytime between 2 pm – 7 pm and will last between 2-4 hours normally (not including the pre-cooling hour preceding the event). Peak thermostat events will only occur during weekdays. Weekends and holidays are excluded from peak thermostat events. Peak thermostat events can occur multiple times per month, with a maximum of 15 peak thermostat events per program year.
Because VEC is part of a transmission region serving the majority of Texas, we will have peak events even when it doesn’t seem like a day when there’s high demand on the energy grid in our service area. For example, if there’s a heat wave affecting Houston, that will ultimately affect us too because it increases demand in our region.
In the event you terminate your enrollment in the peak thermostat program before the end of the initial enrollment year, you will be ineligible to receive an enrollment credit for any future participation in the peak thermostat program. Upon re-enrollment in the program for a subsequent peak thermostat year, you will be eligible to again receive the annual participation incentive.
ERCOT does not have direct access to your thermostat. Participation in the program is administered through our authorized thermostat service providers in partnership with qualifying thermostat manufacturers. By participating in the program, our authorized thermostat service provider (IPKeys) received thermostat details to fulfill your enrollment in the program. This includes but is not limited to, thermostat brand, model, serial number, online connectivity status (e.g., online/offline), and participation details during energy events. Such as thermostat mode (e.g., cool, heat, off) and whether your thermostat participated or opted out during an energy event.
According to Energy.Gov, using a smart learning thermostat like the Honeywell T9 or similar members can save up to 10% on their cooling energy bill each year and between 10-12% on heating. These savings come from the ability of the thermostat to remotely turn on an eco-setting while you are away and not over-cool or over-heat an empty house! If you forget to adjust the thermostat to away settings, don't worry! The Wi-Fi connection of these thermostats also allows you to change the temperature from anywhere, even on a beach vacation hundreds of miles away.