Consumers Energy to provide 30,000 smart thermostats for most vulnerable as natural gas costs fall

Published on February 10, 2023 by Chris Galford

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Consumers Energy of Michigan announced a giveaway this week for financially vulnerable natural gas customers: 30,000 Google Nest smart thermostats meant to help with heating bills.

The thermostat initiative couples with $15 million in automatic bill credits provided to Consumers Energy electric customers beginning last month and another $10 million slated for assistance to vulnerable households. As to the tech itself, Nest is a voice and app control-capable device that allows easier, direct management heat and cooling systems.

“We’re excited to provide smart thermostats, which reduce energy waste, in addition to dollars that will keep people safe and warm in their homes,” Brian Rich, Consumers Energy’s senior vice president and chief customer officer, said. “Smart thermostats help lower costs by allowing people to easily set and adjust temperatures at home or work, and they’ve proved to be a powerful tool. We are doing all we can at Consumers Energy to keep heating costs low in the first place, and we also are providing resources to help people use less energy.”

Plus, in market situations well beyond Consumers control, natural gas costs also continue to fall after climbing continuously over the last year. The climbs had been due to inflation and other national issues, but in the past four months, prices have subsequently fallen 24 percent. This means that Consumers Energy’s supply costs have been lower, allowing the company to reduce customer bills.