Smart Thermostats 101: All You Need To Know To Upgrade & Save On Your Energy Bill

Why you need a smart thermostat (if you don’t already have one) and how IT can pay YOU for your energy

What is a smart thermostat?

A “smart” thermostat is WiFi-enabled and allows you to control the temperature in your home from your phone. Many models also “learn” your preferences and adjust the temperature automatically throughout the day—for example, to save energy when you are not home.

For data junkies, smart thermostats also capture a ton of information, including temperature and humidity, energy consumption, heating and A/C run times, and specific setting histories, among others.

Not sure which smart thermostat is best for you? Read this helpful guide from the CNET — the world's leader in tech product reviews, news, prices, videos, forums, how-to's and more — to get up to speed on the best smart thermostats on the market today.

What are the benefits of a smart thermostat?

OhmConnect users with a connected thermostat save more than twice as much, on average, compared to users without a connected thermostat.

Oh, and this is on top of the 5-10% savings on your heating and cooling bill for upgrading to a smart thermostat!

Each home is different, of course. If you’re interested in calculating your potential annual savings,  check out Honeywell’s Energy Savings Calculator.

How can I get a rebate on a smart thermostat?

Smart thermostats can help you save energy and money off your monthly utility bill, but you may still be wondering whether they are worth the investment.

Great news for you if you live in California. The three largest CA utilities — PG&E, SCE, and SDG&E — offer great rebates for qualifying devices.

Note: The rebate is not instantaneous and can sometimes take up to six weeks to process

All three utilities offer money back on purchases of smart thermostats. This includes an Energy Efficiency Rebate and a Demand Response Rebate.​

The Energy Efficiency Rebate applies to ENERGY STAR-certified thermostats.* ENERGY STAR is a national program that lets consumers know which devices meet strict efficiency and quality standards using an easy-to-recognize label. The additional Demand Response Rebate, where available, rewards you for connecting your smart thermostat to programs such as OhmConnect that help save energy when the grid needs it most.

Here's some basic information about each utility’s program:


  • Rebate amount: $100 ($50 Energy Efficiency Rebate & $50 Demand Response Rebate); paid via check
  • Rebate details: Review rebate requirements here. Once you apply for the Energy Efficiency rebate, your application will be automatically reviewed for the Demand Response Rebate. Make sure you connect your thermostat to your OhmConnect Account! This connection will be verified before the second $50 is issued.
  • Already bought a qualifying device? Apply for a rebate.


  • Rebate amount: $75, paid via bill credit
  • Rebate details: Review rebate requirements here. [TIP: As an OhmConnect user, you can also receive the additional $75 Demand Response Rebate described in "Step 1". Contact us for details!]
  • Already bought a qualifying device? Apply for a rebate (SCE & SoCalGas customers with a gas furnace), or apply through the Marketplace (SCE Customers).


  • Rebate amount: $75, multiple reward options
  • Rebate details: Review rebate requirements here.
  • Already bought a qualifying device? Apply for a rebate.

* Check your utility’s terms and conditions before purchase to ensure that a thermostat qualifies for a rebate.

Already have a smart thermostat?

Connect it to your OhmConnect account and receive 2,000 tokens!



Maria Belenky

Maria is a clean energy enthusiast who is excited to play a small part in the energy transition. She is a Markets Analyst at OhmConnect. Previously, she led efforts to track and measure the impacts of U.S. climate policy on national GHG emissions at Climate Advisers. She has a BA in Economics and International relations from the University of Pennsylvania and an MA in Energy, Resources and the Environment from John Hopkins SAIS.

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