MEMBER SERVICES Q&A: Smart thermostats and the energy tracking tool


Q: What is a smart thermostat? I’ve heard about them and hope to win one in your Energy Tracking Tool contest. Why are they better than my old thermostat? 
A: A smart thermostat is a wireless device that can be programmed remotely to schedule temperature settings. You can change settings from a smartphone, tablet or desktop computer. Some smart thermostats provide weather forecasts and let manufacturers make software upgrades seamlessly. Others adjust automatically to humidity and other weather conditions. Some even learn and adapt to your habits. 
The challenge with traditional or even programmable thermostats is that few people have the same schedule every day or week. Some smart thermostats adjust during the day to be more efficient as your lifestyle changes. For example, some learn the temperature you prefer on rainy days and adjust accordingly whenever it rains. Sensors also adjust to a more efficient temperature when there is no movement in the house. 
There are several smart thermostats on the market, each with pros and cons. Some require professional installation; prices and features vary, and displays range from simple to complex and colorful. 
Smart thermostats help reduce energy bills, especially when used with Bluebonnet’s free tools for members. We send text and email alerts when you reach a certain budget limit and when power use spikes. Our Energy Tracking Tool provides detailed information about your power use and costs, down to the hour. Learn more about that — and our contest — HERE.
If you have questions about smart thermostats, these manufacturers’ websites may help: and

For questions about the contest, email or call 800-842-7708.
— Rebecca Brotherton,
member service representative


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