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Smart thermostat set at 80 degrees
Smart thermostat set at 80 degrees
AG20044018 / Wikimedia Commons / Edited


Power Company Locks Homeowners Out of Thermostats for Heat Wave ‘Energy Emergency’

22,000 Colorado customers who signed up to an energy rewards program were forbidden from cooling their homes.

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Tens of thousands of Colorado residents found themselves unable to turn down their smart thermostats after energy company Xcel took control of them, citing an “energy emergency.”

On Tuesday, around 22,000 customers of Xcel, a Minnesota-based energy company who supplies customers across a number of western states, found themselves unable to turn down the temperature in their homes, despite the outside temperature reaching into the 90s, Summit News reported.

Tony Talarico told Denver7 that he tried to turn on his air conditioning “right during the peak period” on Tuesday, but then saw that his smart thermostat was telling him that there was an “energy emergency.”

“Normally, when we see a message like that, we’re able to override it,” he told the local station. “In this case, we weren’t. So, our thermostat was locked in at 78 or 79.”

A number of Colorado customers complained on social media, noting that their houses had reached up to 88 degrees inside, and weren’t able to fix this.

Xcel confirmed to Denver7 that these customers had signed up to their “Colorado AC Rewards” program, which gave them $100 credit when signing up, along with a $25 annual discount, but also handed over control of their smart thermostats to Xcel whenever there was such an energy emergency.

“It’s a voluntary program. Let’s remember that this is something that customers choose to be a part of based on the incentives,” Emmett Romine, vice president of customer solutions and innovation at Xcel, told the station.

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Romine claimed that the current “energy emergency” was due to an unexpected outage in the Pueblo area, combined with high temperatures and high AC usage, and that this wasn’t the first time this had happened. “It helps everybody for people to participate in these programs. It is a bit uncomfortable for a short period of time, but it’s very, very helpful,” he added.

However, Talarico claimed he had absolutely no idea he could be locked out of his smart thermostat like this, and didn’t even consider the current situation to be an emergency.

“To me, an emergency means there is, you know, life, limb, or, you know, some other danger out there — some, you know, massive wildfires,” he said. “Even if it’s a once-in-a-blue-moon situation, it just doesn’t sit right with us to not be able to control our own thermostat in our house.”

Energy rationing is becoming commonplace across Europe this winter, with the burgeoning energy crisis sparked by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but exacerbated by long-term moves to green energy and carbon neutrality.

Spanish Defense Minister Margarita Robles said last week that Europe is going to have a “winter of great suffering,” with her government banning air-conditioning from dropping below 80.6 F in public places at the height of summer. Those who broke the rule faced a €600,000 fine.

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Over in Germany, where major landlords are planning to throttle heating at night for its residents to save energy, analysts at the major Deutsche Bank suggested that people should look into substituting gas for other sources of power.

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Jack Hadfield
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Jack Hadfield is the Associate Editor at Valiant News. An investigative reporter from the UK, and the director and presenter of "Destination Dover: Migrants in the Channel, his work has appeared in such sites as Breitbart and The Political Insider. You can follow him on Gab @JH, on Telegram @JackHadders, or see his other social media by visiting



  1. Avatar

    not sure

    September 2, 2022 at 5:51 am

    Gay sex orgies are given exemptions if face masks are worn.

  2. Avatar


    September 2, 2022 at 7:55 am

    Aren’t their little solar panels working?

  3. Avatar

    James R Maxwell

    September 2, 2022 at 8:04 am

    And George Orwells “BIG BROTHER” has come home to roost. When you
    allow electronic devices to control your life the government becomes
    the dictator and you have no control over your own life or what happens.

    • Avatar


      September 2, 2022 at 1:52 pm

      Alexa turn on the AC

    • Avatar

      2 Lions

      September 3, 2022 at 8:59 am

      I’m betting that before the end of winter, at least 2000 Coloradians buy a new thermostat not controllable by power and/or energy companies.

  4. Avatar

    Tim Kuehl

    September 2, 2022 at 1:14 pm

    This exact scenario was predicted when people started allowing smart thermostats to be installed in their homes. Learn from this. Don’t allow one to be installed. If it was me I would remove that intruder and install my own thermostat.

  5. Avatar


    September 2, 2022 at 9:28 pm

    If you don’t like not being in control of your thermostat, buy a new one they can’t control. My local power company tried to install a shutoff device which they controlled on my A/C unit without my permission. I told the guy to get off my roof. he said he would “after” he installed his device. I told him, if you don’t come down right now I’m calling the police. He came down without installing his device….

    • Avatar


      September 2, 2022 at 9:56 pm

      Right you are, you can go to Home Depot buy a standard thermostat for 25-30 bucks and you’re good to go. Easy install.

  6. Avatar

    Gerald Quinn

    September 3, 2022 at 9:45 pm

    Serves you commies right. Place all of your trust in Big Brother after all he’s looking out for you. Morons!!!

  7. Avatar


    September 4, 2022 at 4:05 pm

    Just wait until the “smart refrigerator” locks you out. Better hide that junk food in brown bags.

  8. Avatar

    Jersey Prophet

    September 6, 2022 at 12:04 pm

    My kids installed an iPhone app which unlocks their apartment door in New York City. How soon before the next lockdown is announced by their communist mayor and suddenly their access to the app is blocked?

    These digitally controlled locks not only can unlock doors, they can also lock residents in their apartments, then deprive them of access to the app, effectively imprisoning them in their own apartments.

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