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Ontario handing out prepaid credit cards for people with a certain type of thermostat

The Ontario government is offering prepaid credit cards to residents with smart thermostats who are willing to reduce their air conditioning and energy use during peak hours.

The program is called Peak Perks and offers financial incentives to customers willing to conserve energy. These customers must have an eligible Wi-Fi enabled smart thermostat connected to a central air conditioning system or heat pump unit to participate.

“The new programs launched today will also help meet the province’s emerging electricity system needs by providing annual electricity savings equivalent to powering approximately 130,000 homes every year and reduce costs for consumers by over $650 million by 2025,” Energy Minister Todd Smith said in a statement.

Individuals who enroll will be giving their thermostat manufacturer secure access to their technology and will see the temperature adjusted by two to four degrees up to 10 times between June and September.

The changes will occur only on weekdays for up to three hours during peak periods for electricity.

Officials said that residents will be notified whenever a change is made and will retain control to manually re-adjust the temperature in their home if desired. This will not change the financial incentives the customer receives, officials noted.

Those who take part in the program will receive a $75 electronic prepaid Mastercard, as well as a $20 card each additional year starting in 2024. The program will launch in June of this year.

The government has said there are about 600,000 smart thermostats installed in Ontario. Smith said that he hopes lowering demand during peak periods will also allow the province to conserve energy at facilities that run only at peak periods.

A full list of eligible smart thermostats can be found on the Peak Perks website. The program was first announced in October 2022. Top Stories

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