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So this past week, we’ve seen Xcel Energy in Colorado lock out up to 22,000 energy customers’ smart thermostats. This was due to the customers opting into a program offered by Xcel Energy called Colorado AC Rewards Program which allows Xcel to control their thermostats during high energy demand periods. So is there a way to ‘override’ the energy emergency warning that displays on the thermostat units?
Normally you can override it by calling Xcel and opting out of the program which would then give you back full control of your thermostat. However this past week, customers were not able to override because Xcel did not give back control to home owners during this time.
How To Regain Control of your Smart Thermostat with Xcel Energy
So if you don’t want to give up control of your thermostat offered by Xcel which include: Nest, Ererson, Honeywell, and ecobee, you will need to not sign up for their Colorado AC Rewards Program which grants you $100 a year for doing so.
Obviously, you are not going to receive the reward of $100 but you are also not giving up control of an essential device in your home to an outside company. Even if doing so can be seen as a ‘good thing’. Its only good if it does not inconvenience you down the road.
Remove the Thermostat Completely To Bypass The Lockout
Remove your thermostat from the base and then remove the base to expose the wires behind it. With the pins exposed take a small wire and jump the red wire with the yellow wire. This gives 24v to the cooling circuit and overrides any other command. Of course, this will keep your AC running all the time until you remove the jumper, but it will at least cool down your house when you need it.