Bring Your Home Into the Future With a Smart Thermostat and a $100 Rebate

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Sponsored By The DC Sustainable Energy Utility.

The DC Sustainable Energy Utility (DCSEU) helps DC residents and businesses use less energy and save money.

Created By BlankSlate

DC summers and winters are notorious for their weather extremes. Having the latest technology to keep your home cool (or warm) can help the environment and even save you a little coin, too.

The DCSEU, DC’s source for saving energy, can help bring a smart thermostat into your home with a $100 rebate.

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Smart thermostats give you climate control in the spaces you inhabit. The devices learn your preferences over time and eventually begin to set the temperature according to what you like and what saved you the most energy. That’s good for both the environment and your wallet.

Smart thermostats are also Wi-Fi and mobile app capable. Forgot to turn down the heat before heading out to that fancy dinner in Georgetown? No worries! With the flick of a finger on your smartphone, you can solve that problem and still get there on time.

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The DCSEU is offering a $100 rebate for customers who choose to install a smart thermostat from its Qualifying Product List. Since these items can cost around $250, that’s a pretty significant deal.

If you’re looking for a smarter, more connected, and environmentally conscious home, head over to DCSEU’s website for more information.

17 Comment

  • One major benefit of an Ecobee or Nest is that you can install it yourself. BUT you can only get the rebate if it is installed by a professional (which will cost you much more than $100)…

    • HaileUnlikely

      I called DCSEU to inquire about this point and they indicated that you are actually allowed to install the thermostat yourself, and that they had simply carried over boilerplate language from other equipment when creating the rebate form for the smart thermostat and intended to update the form. I have not yet seen this change made, though, and do not know whether they are actually issuing rebates to people who installed their own stuff.

      • That’s awesome to know! I have been thinking about buying a nest and am planning on pulling the trigger in the next week or so. I was planning on installing it myself, so this is good news.

        • Same here! My house has a wired themostat on the lowest level that controls the heating, and a wireless one two floors up for the AC. I guess it would make sense to just replace the heat thermostat?

      • That is simply not true. I submitted an application for the rebate and it was rejected.

        • HaileUnlikely

          My general impression is that DCSEU is pretty small, overworked, happy to help, but does a lot of stuff ad hoc and goofs up on occasion. I think there is a good chance that either they gave me bad info when I called, or that they made an error when they rejected your rebate, or quite possibly both. I’d recommend calling them on the phone and speaking with somebody about the status of your rebate. A few years ago an error by DCSEU resulted in their giving me the same rebate twice (the dollar amount in question was in the thousands, not a matter of their accidentally giving me 2 x $25 instead of 1 x $25).

          • I spoke to someone on the phone just now. She expressly stated that they have a $100 rebate for both self installed and contractor installed rebates. She also made a point of mentioning that a lot of people weren’t uploading the rebate request form and they were kicking back a lot of the rebate submissions. I’m not sure if this is your issue, but here’s the form:
            .
            https://www.dcseu.com/docs/rebates/dcseu-smart-thermostat-rebate.pdf

          • Yeah, it was my understanding, as well, that you could install your own smart thermostat, but “dumb” programmable thermostats have to be installed by an approved pro. Even with the rebate, I’d spend more having a pro install a “dumb” thermostat than the cost of a regular programmable I put in myself. Bummer since I need a new thermostat, am not going smart, and no way in heck am I paying someone to drill two holes (maybe…if the new one lines up, don’t even need that) and push wires into labeled slots. Don’t understand this stipulation!

          • ah

            It may be that with these they can verify it’s installed because you supply the serial number and allow them to verify that with the company selling it. With a “dumb” programmable the only way to verify is to have someone say they istalled it whom they might actually trust – i.e., an installer. Otherwise one could submit a receipt from Home Depot, get the rebate, and then return the ‘stat without ever installing it.

          • I get the verification of installation, and I know that having an online system is cheaper and easier than otherwise, but the solution when I’ve taken advantage of this in another jurisdiction (granted, years ago) was that you had to mail in the receipt dated within the last 60 days and the barcode from the package. You could also only claim the credit once every 5 years unless you submitted proof that you moved (the new utility bill in your name was sufficient). Just enough hoops that it probably wasn’t worth it to scam the system.
            .
            For many people, having to have a professional do it is a barrier (I’m talking about people who can’t afford a smart thermostat). I mean, that’s going to cost $100 at a minimum, right? For something that most people can do with the package instructions (it’s really, really easy). $25 isn’t even going to cover the thermostat if you have a heat pump.

          • To be perfectly clear, this isn’t going to change my decision to buy a “dumb” programmable thermostat to replace mine that is starting to have trouble keeping the temperature. Even though it’s ~$70 to replace like with like, I know having it automatically adjust the temperature saves me money when I turn it down (winter)/up (summer) without having to remember.
            .
            However, when I bought my first, I did so in response to a rebate program where I lived. I *didn’t* have the money to pay for a “fancy” thermostat and wait for it to pay itself off over the next year or two, but my utility company would reimburse me for up to $100 if I bought it and sent in the receipt and barcode. I charged it (which I understand means that I had greater means than MANY people), and was able to pay off the credit card bill with the check from the utility company, since I installed it the same day I bought it and got the paperwork for reimbursement in the mail the next day. *That* system promoted energy efficiency and allowed lower-income people to reduce their utility bills. This one in DC? Meh…you basically have to be able to afford a decent chunk of money up front to get even a reimbursement, which won’t cover your costs.

        • Hi Iras, the smart thermostat rebate does apply to both self- and contractor-installed thermostats on our qualifying product list. We did launch a small pilot earlier in 2016 that required contractor installation, however any smart thermostat on our qualifying product list purchased on or after November 3, 2016 should be eligible for self-install. Please give us a call if you feel your application was rejected in error – we’d love to help! 202-479-2222

  • HaileUnlikely

    Also, buyer beware, in addition to the confusion cited above regarding whether a professional install by a participating contractor is needed to be eligible for the rebate, the DCSEU website also indicates that homes with programmable thermostats from the DC/Pepco EnergyWise Rewards program are not eligible for the rebate. I might be wrong on this but I think that might be a new addition to their site, and *is not mentioned anywhere on the rebate form.* I had a cheap dinosaur of a programmable thermostat from the EnergyWise Rewards program installed several years ago, and I just bought the Ecobee (the thermostat pictured in the main post) to replace it. I am very pleased with the Ecobee, so much so that I regard it as an excellent purchase regardless of whether my rebate application is accepted or rejected.

  • Just called DCSEU… the application can be submitted online, even though NEST isn’t a listed Smart Thermostat item. Just select that your product hasn’t been added and complete the rest of the application. If you didn’t use a contractor and installed on your own, I was told to select “contractor unknown” from the drop down.
    .
    In addition to the application, a monthly Nest Home Report and the sales invoice and date of installation is required. Nest support sent me all the information, including model and serial number which is available also on Nest’s website.
    .
    Super easy, thanks for posting this, PoP! First drink’s on me.

  • I don’t understand Nest and this obsession with “smart” thermostats. Programmable and wifi thermostats have been available for years. Other brands can be bought for less than half the price, and I was able to get a programmable wifi enabled thermostat from Pepco for free by signing up for the energy wise rewards program (and getting credits on my power bill, see link here for the program: https://energywiserewards.pepco.com/dc/). I guess there is the argument that Nest “learns” your behavior – but at least for me, working a pretty standard 9 to 5 job, the only thing to “learn” is to turn down the heat when I’m not home in the day, turn it up when I get home, and down again at night. Took about 30 seconds to program in my free thermostat. It seems like a truly “smart” thermostat is one that’s free but does pretty much the same things as one with a 250 price tag.

    • All true, but Nest interfaces with my Amazon Echo so I can control the temperature in my apartment from bed. 🙂

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