Knowing very little about this, save for what I've just read on the TXU Energy site, I'm intrigued by the device the Dallas-based electricity provider's offering beginning today: the TXU Energy iThermostat. Two cool things, at first glance: Says TXU, it will allow you to "control your home’s temperature from anywhere," meaning you can use any Internet-connected device to log on to a secure TXU Web site to "monitor and manage" your house's temperature. And: It "automatically switches from heat to cool to maintain a specific temperature in Texas’ unpredictable weather." (Here are detailed instructions.)
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It's a $200 device TXU's literally giving away -- at least to "eligible customers in the Oncor Electric Delivery service area who participate in the TXU Energy Conservation Program." Which probably doesn't include people will use their iThermostat to keep their meat cold in the living room while they're on vacation. --Robert Wilonsky