Electric Services

New thermostat rebate could lower your energy costs


thermostatBy Patrick McIntyre, CSU Energy Coordinator

It’s not exactly a news flash that Texas gets terribly hot in the summer. That’s why air conditioning is among mankind’s greatest creations.

Unfortunately, it can also be expensive.

If you’re a typical College Station resident, about half of your annual energy bill can be attributed to air conditioning. The cost of running household appliances and electronics don’t even come close.

The thermostat that controls your HVAC system can be the key to lowering your costs.

The device itself doesn’t directly consume electricity, but significant savings can be realized by reducing the run time of your system. Thanks to technological advancements, you can save energy by remotely controlling your thermostat with your smartphone. That means you can reset your connected thermostat to pre-cool your home before returning from work, or you can adjust it while on vacation.

Starting in January, College Station Utilities’ will offer $30 rebates to residential customers who purchase an eligible thermostat through the Connected Thermostat Program. All you need to do is submit an application along with a purchase receipt. Once the application is approved, we’ll credit the rebate to your utility account.

Eligible thermostat brands are Nest, Honeywell, Radio Thermostat, Ecobee, Emerson, Carrier, Schneider Electric, Lux GEO, Lockstate, Trane, Hunter, and First Alert.

The Connected Thermostat Program complements our existing programs that can help lower your electric bill:

  • The Energy Back II Rebate Program provides rebates for residential customers replacing central air conditioning systems with higher efficiency models.
  • The Residential LED Lighting Program encourages the replacement of incandescent lighting with higher efficiency LEDs (light-emitting diode) lamps. CSU will credit residential customers’ accounts $2 per LED up to a maximum rebate of $20 per customer in any 12-month period.
  • CSU also provides free, personalized commercial and residential on-site energy surveys to help you identify energy conservation measures that can further reduce your utility costs.

Download Connected Thermostat Rebate Form

Take advantage of these cost-saving programs today! If you have any questions, email me at pmcintyre@cstx.gov.


0000072EPAbout the Author

Patrick McIntyre is energy coordinator for College Station Utilities and is responsible for the energy conservation and key accounts programs. Pat joined CSU as a key accounts representative in 2009. He previously worked for 17 years in the manufacturing sector and eight years as a consultant with the Texas Engineering Extension Service. Pat graduated from Texas A&M in 1982 with B.S. in Industrial Distribution and has lived in the area since 1984. 



If you found value in this blog post, please share it with your social network and friends!


Photo Credit: scyther5/123RF Stock Photo

Linemen brave the elements to keep your power on

Patrick McIntyre, CSU Energy Coordinator

Beginning in 1879 with the invention of the Edison light bulb, electric linemen have been keeping the nation energized.  The City of College Station and Congress are recognizing today as National Lineman Appreciation Day to honor the hard-working folks who protect the public safety by keeping your power on.

More than 115,000 linemen and women nationwide install and maintain nine million miles of electric grid to meet your power needs.  Electric linemen at College Station Utilities work with voltages as high as 138,000 down to standard household 120-volt power.


Second transformer arrives at Northgate substation


By Patrick McIntyre, CSU Energy Coordinator  

CSU received a second transformer Thursday morning at the Northgate substation the city shares with Texas A&M. The new transformer doubles the substation’s capacity and will help us stay ahead of Northgate’s growth.

Since the substation is located in a high-density area, precautions had to be taken. College Station police escorted the truck and 70-foot trailer carrying the 150,000-lb. load through a route prescribed by the Texas Department of Transportation. University police isolated the area that led to the station entrance, where a 350-ton mobile crane carefully off-loaded the transformer.


Public Power Week focuses on reliable electricity providers

By Patrick C. McIntyre, CSU Energy Coordinator

The City of College Station joins communities across the nation this week in recognizing the thousands of men and women who provide and maintain the electrical grid infrastructure and services known as public power.

The American Public Power Association coordinates Public Power Week, which is in its 29th year. Not-for-profit, community-owned electric providers serve about 47 million Americans in nearly 2,000 towns and cities.

With no divided loyalties, these utilities focus on providing reliable electricity while protecting the environment.

College Station Utilities is among 72 publicly owned utilities in Texas that serve more than 4.1 million customers with community-owned power. CSU is one of only two utilities in our state to be nationally recognized this year as a Reliable Public Power Provider (RP3). The designation is based on reliability, safety, workforce development and system improvement. (more…)

CSU’s Tree Trimming Program Reduces Wildfire Risks

In September, a dangerous wildfire was ignited at Harvey Mitchell Parkway and State Highway 6 when high winds snapped the trunk of a hollow tree and it fell into a power line. The tree was still green and offered no indication that it would create a dangerous situation. After a summer of extreme drought, the blaze spread quickly and threatened nearby neighborhoods and businesses. If not for the rapid response of the College Station Fire Department and others, the situation could have been grim.

Fires caused by discarded cigarette, outdoor burning, cars, barbeque pits and other sources caused tremendous havoc across Texas in 2011, and will continue to be a threat until the drought ends.

Drought Has Increased Danger


Keeping the Lights On: Brownouts Were Costly

Electric customers across Texas were frustrated by the statewide rolling brownouts that occurred in early February. College Station Utilities shared our customers’ exasperation and deeply regrets any inconvenience or related problems caused by this emergency situation. State and federal authorities have launched investigations, and we are optimistic that the specific causes will be identified and appropriate steps taken to prevent a reoccurrence.

What Happened
In the early morning hours of Feb. 2, the extremely cold weather caused numerous power generation plants throughout the state’s transmission grid to trip offline in rapid succession. As a result, all electric utilities within the transmission system operated by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) immediately were ordered to conduct rolling brownouts of non-emergency customers. Without the brownouts, the ERCOT grid could have completely collapsed and would have taken 48 hours or longer to restore. Thanks to the timely response of electric utility systems within ERCOT, the grid did not collapse and the brownouts ended just after 1 p.m. College Station Utilities worked extremely hard to minimize the impact of this event on our community.