Degrees of Difference

The Reliant Degrees of Difference programs use your thermostat to help you save energy and reward you for doing so. All you need to participate is a regular thermostat or a Google Nest thermostat.

degrees of difference thermostat icons
 

Both programs are free to join and make it easy to save.


nest thermostat icon

Degrees of Difference with Google Nest thermostats1
(Automated program)

 

What you need

Any generation of a Google Nest Learning Thermostat or a Google Nest E Thermostat.


How it works:

  1. Install your Nest thermostat and connect to Wi-Fi before signing up on the program.
  2. Enroll in the Degrees of Difference with Google Nest thermostats program.
  3. You’ll get a notification on your Nest thermostat and Nest app when electricity demand is high, known as an energy rush hour event.
  4. Your Nest thermostat will automatically adjust a few degrees during an energy rush hour event to help you conserve without lifting a finger.
 
generic thermostat icon

Degrees of Difference2
(Manual program)

 

What you need

Any thermostat


How it works:

  1. Enroll in the Degrees of Difference program.
  2. We’ll email you before a peak energy day, asking you to reduce usage. You can also opt-in to receive text alerts.
  3. Make small changes like adjusting your thermostat and holding off running the pool pump, dishwasher, washer or oven to conserve energy. Learn more easy ways to reduce your usage with our energy saving tips.
  4. When you use less, you’ll save more.
 
bill credits

Perks:

Receive Degrees of Difference bill credits of $0.60 per kWh for using less electricity than normal during specified reduction periods.3

 
Terms, conditions and other restrictions

1 Degrees of Difference with Google Nest thermostats program is not available to customers enrolled in the Reliant Pay as you Go plan, or to customers enrolled in Degrees of Difference without a Google Nest thermostat. Must be signed up on Degrees of Difference with Google Nest thermostats program, have a Google Nest thermostat connected to Wi-Fi and be signed up for Nest Rush Hour Rewards. Enrollment in the Degrees of Difference with Google Nest thermostats program will result in the termination of any existing enrollment in the Degrees of Difference program not utilizing Rush Hour Rewards (including termination of bill credits).

The Degrees of Difference program is not available to customers participating in the Degrees of Difference with Google Nest thermostats program.

3 Reliant determines a participant’s usage reduction by comparing actual kWh usage during the hours of requested reduction to the participant’s typical usage for that time of day during the same time of day over the prior five weekdays. Participants with a usage reduction will receive a bill credit within two billing cycles following a reduction period (not redeemable for cash value). Program is not available to customers enrolled in the Reliant Pay as you Go plan.

Reliant reserves the right to discontinue or change these programs without notice. Limited warranty provided by Google, and except for that limited warranty, Reliant and Google make no warranties. Reliant is not affiliated with Google or the products and services it markets. Google, Nest, Google Nest Learning Thermostat, Google Nest Thermostat E, and the Rush Hour Rewards are trademarks of Google LLC.

 

Degrees of Difference with Nest FAQs

  • During periods of high electricity demand, or "energy rush hours," your Google Nest thermostat will run Rush Hour Rewards – automatically tweaking temperatures no more than 4 degrees to balance energy savings and comfort. Energy rush hour events can last up to 4 hours, but you can change the temperature at any time.
  • When the demand for electricity is anticipated to be high, it creates an "energy rush hour event" similar to traffic rush hours. Your Google Nest thermostat automatically adjusts the temperatures during an energy rush hour event to decrease your AC runtime. But first you must connect your Google Nest thermostat to Wi-Fi and sign up for the Nest Rush Hour Rewards program through your Nest account online or on the Nest app (“Settings” -> “Rebates and rewards”). Once you do, your Google Nest thermostat and the Nest app will display a gold gear icon when an energy rush hour event starts. You can also be notified ahead of time by changing your Nest app settings to receive alerts before an energy rush hour event happens.

    During an energy rush hour event, your Google Nest thermostat will automatically adjust temperatures around each specified reduction period to save electricity while keeping you comfortable. But you can choose to change the temperature and opt out of that particular energy rush hour event at any time.

  • At least one connected Google Nest thermostat is required in order to participate in the Reliant Degrees of Difference with Google Nest thermostats program along with Wi-Fi and an active free Nest account. If you have more than one Google Nest thermostat, the gold gear icon will appear on each connected Google Nest thermostat during an energy rush hour event.
  • A gold gear icon and the words "RUSH HOUR" will appear on the display of your Google Nest thermostat and your Nest app when the reduction period or "energy rush hour" begins. During the energy rush hour event, your Google Nest thermostat will adjust your target temperature by no more than 4 degrees and will cycle your air conditioner or electric heater on and off to balance your comfort with your potential rewards from Reliant. You can override these automatic adjustments at any time during the energy rush hour event if you choose.

    Your Google Nest thermostat will return to its regular schedule after the energy rush hour event has ended. On the day after the energy rush hour event, you can see the temperatures adjusted by your Google Nest thermostat during the event highlighted by a gold ring in Energy History from the Nest app.

  • An energy rush hour event can last up to 4 hours.
  • A gold gear icon will appear on the display of your Google Nest thermostat and your Nest app to let you know that an energy rush hour event is now taking place.
  • You can override the Nest Rush Hour Rewards temperatures at any point by changing the temperature directly on your Google Nest thermostat or on the Nest app. Your Google Nest thermostat will keep the temperatures you set and then return to your regular schedule. Adjusting your Google Nest thermostat during the specified reduction period or "energy rush hour event" will cause the gold gear icon to disappear from the thermostat display. You’ll then know you’re fully opted out of the Rush Hour Rewards program.
  • They will only occur between May and October, when periods of high electricity demand are more likely. You can always opt out of the energy rush hour event by changing the temperature on your Google Nest thermostat.
  • Your participation in the Degrees of Difference with Google Nest thermostats program does not affect your current Reliant electricity plan.

Degrees of Difference FAQs

  • The Reliant Degrees of Difference program allows customers to earn Degrees of Difference bill credits by using less electricity during requested periods of high demand on the electric grid.
  • Reliant will use email to communicate essential program information to you. The Degrees of Difference program will alert you to upcoming periods of high electricity demand so you can reduce your usage. During these high-demand hours, simply adjust your thermostat and hold off on high-usage activities like running the dishwasher, washer, dryer or pool pump, and you can earn Degrees of Difference bill credits.
  • Your participation in the Degrees of Difference program doesn’t affect your current Reliant electricity plan.
  • We review your usage during the requested reduction hours and compare it to previous weekdays to establish your typical usage. Reliant will determine your usage reduction by comparing actual kWh usage during the hours of the requested reduction to your typical usage for that time of day. This typical usage is the average usage at that time over the prior five weekdays. If this method shows a reduction of 1 kWh or more, you will receive a Degrees of Difference bill credit of $0.60 per kWh for using less electricity than normal during high demand hours.
  • We send a request for usage reduction when we anticipate that demand for electricity will be high compared to the amount of available generation. The situations that cause Reliant to request customers to reduce usage are typically unexpected (for example, a significant change in the weather forecast or an unplanned outage of generation), so we usually have only one day of advance notice. This means we can't send an event notice two or three days before an event, because we cannot tell that far in advance that a usage reduction will be needed.
  • The bill credit will appear on your Reliant account within two billing cycles.
  • No special thermostat or equipment is required other than a smart meter.
  • A few days after the requested reduction period, you’ll receive an email summarizing the usage reduction amount and any bill credit that you earned.
  • Here are a few ways to reduce your usage: 
    • In the hour prior to the requested reduction period, you can precool (in summer) or preheat (in winter if you have electric heat) your home by adjusting the thermostat temperature to maintain comfort. 
    • During the requested reduction period, adjust your thermostat setting by four degrees. 
    • If you have a swimming pool, turn off the pool pump during the reduction period. 
    • Postpone using your washer or dryer until after the reduction period. 
    • During a reduction period, use a microwave oven — which is a lower-electricity usage appliance — instead of a stovetop or conventional electric oven.