How to get rebates on a smart thermostat (or even a free one)

Learn how to save up to $125 on smart thermostats from Ecobee, Nest, Honeywell and others

Example of a smart thermostat made by Nest.

Did you know that many utility companies give sizable rebates when you purchase a Nest, Ecobee, or other smart thermostat? In fact, you can sometimes get one completely free.

They do this because smart thermostats help reduce energy loads, and dealing with peak power demands is one of the most difficult challenges for a utility. Reducing demand through improved efficiency is the easiest and most economical way to deal with this challenge, and it can help the utilities delay or avoid costly infrastructure upgrades.

For you the customer, a smart thermostat can save you money and improve your comfort. For example, in the summer, high air conditioning usage typically means that peak electricity load on the grid happens during the day while people are at work and homes are unoccupied. A smart thermostat can be programmed to reduce your air conditioner usage on a schedule, or it can even do it automatically by sensing that the house is unoccupied. No impact on your comfort, you save money, and the utility company benefits too.

This article includes links to online retailers, and we may earn a small commission when you purchase one of the products listed on this page. Our reviews are independent, and none of the companies have paid to be featured.

Smart thermostats like the Nest and Ecobee make it easy to set your home’s temperature according to your schedule from the device or your smartphone. Or, they can even automatically detect when you’re out of the house either via occupancy sensors or geofencing technology that uses your smartphone’s location to know when you leave your house and you’re on your way back home.

With discounts of up to $125 from your local utility, you can get one of these advanced thermostats almost for free: the most basic Nest thermostat is currently selling for $130 on Amazon. On top of that, some utilities offer demand response programs that actually pay you money. More about that below.

However, finding those rebates isn’t always easy. In fact, we’ve found that the federal government’s Energy Star website is out of date when it comes to providing current information about what’s available. Because of that, we’ve compiled a list of rebates from the major utility companies around the country. Just click on your state to find smart thermostat rebates near you.

How to apply for a rebate

Be sure to read the details for each utility program, but in general, the programs work like this:

  1. Check the list of qualifying thermostats. Some programs give discounts for both programmable (non-smart) and smart Wifi thermostats, though generally the rebate for smart thermostats is higher.
  2. Purchase the thermostat and keep the receipt. Most utilities allow you to purchase it anywhere, but a few require you to use their online store. Again, check below for details.
  3. Fill out the rebate form and wait for the rebate. Sometimes the rebate will come as a check in the mail, a rebate on your bill, while other utilities give you an online gift card.

Save even more money by joining a demand response program

You can save even more money if your utility offers a demand response program. With these programs, you volunteer to let your utility make minor temperature adjustments to your connected thermostat for a limited number of times a year. The temperature adjustments are small: usually just one or two degrees, and these programs always have a cap on either the frequency or duration of these adjustments.

In exchange, the utility will pay you a small fee every year — often around $50 — and typically an enrollment incentive as well. If your utility also gave you a thermostat rebate, your smart thermostat can basically be free after a year, and continue to earn you money after that. That’s a huge win.

Note that some demand response programs don’t use your smart thermostat, but instead use a specialized device that they install.

Each utility provides rebates for different thermostats, including some more obscure brands and models. You can refer to your utility’s program page for a complete list of supported thermostats, but we recommend sticking with this list of brands and models. These products tend to have better features, a built-in occupancy sensor and/or included remote sensors, are more mature (having gone through a few product versions), and have more capable smart phone apps.

Several of the utilities listed here require that your thermostat has an occupancy sensor in order to qualify for the rebate. What the sensor does is detect if nobody is in a room for an extended period of time, and allows the thermostat (if programmed to do so) to adjust the temperature to reduce your heating or cooling, even if your default schedule normally indicates that you would be home. The Nest and Ecobee models listed here either include remote sensors out of the box or allow you to add them on later. You can place these in important rooms in your house so that the thermostat can either take the average temperature among them, or use only some sensors at certain times of day - for example, using only a bedroom sensor at night. This allows you to really fine tune your heating and cooling to maximize savings.

Before you purchase a smart thermostat, you should check that it is compatible with the wiring in your house. This is especially true if you have an older heating or cooling system. Both the ecobee and Nest models can deal with systems that do not have a c-wire, but if you have only two wires, you will need a workaround. Use the compatibility checkers below before you purchase:

ecobee wiring compatibility checker

Nest wiring compatibility checker

And here’s the recommended list:

Other thermostats

For completeness, we include a list of other smart and programmable thermostats on the market, many of which are qualifying devices for utility rebates. Click on each for latest pricing.

California rebates

City of Anaheim

City of Anaheim public utilities offers a $50 rebate on ENERGY STAR®-certified smart thermostats. The rebate application must be received within one year of purchase.

To apply, mail in a copy of your receipt and the completed form.

Are you a SoCalGas customer? SoCalGas customers can get a $75 rebate.

City of Glendale

The City of Glendale offers $100 back on ENERGY STAR®-certified smart thermostats. Have your account number and a copy of your receipt handy, and then apply online.

City of Riverside

Riverside public utilities offers a $50 rebate on Wi-Fi smart thermostats. The rebate application must be received within 90 days of purchase. To apply, mail in a copy of your receipt and the completed rebate form.

Los Angeles Department of Water & Power

LADWP offers two levels of rebate: $50 off for regular Wi-Fi thermostats (such as the Honeywell Wifi 7-day programmable), and $75 off for more advanced devices (such as the Honeywell Lyric).

The best way to apply is to do it online, and then you’ll get your rebate as a virtual gift card by email.

You will need the model number of your thermostat to complete the online application. For your convenience, we’ve listed the model numbers below for our recommended smart thermostats.

Note: The model numbers correspond to the product links above. If you purchase it elsewhere, be sure to check the product packaging for the correct model number.

Thermostat Model #
ecobee3 lite EB-STATE3LT-02
ecobee3 EB-STATE3-02
ecobee4 (with Alexa) EB-STATE4-01
Honeywell Lyric Honeywell Lyric
Nest Learning Thermostat, 3rd generation T3007ES
Nest Thermostat E T4000ES

Refer to the LADWP website for more details and then apply here.

Pacific Gas & Electric Co.

PG&E customers get $50 off a qualifying ENERGY STAR® smart thermostat. The residence must have a central heating and/or air-conditioning (HVAC) system. The smart thermostat must be new and replace an existing manual or programmable thermostat.

The thermostats below are included. See links above for latest pricing.

  • Nest Learning Thermostat, 3rd generation
  • Nest Thermostat
  • Nest Thermostat E
  • ecobee3 lite
  • ecobee3
  • ecobee4
  • Honeywell Home T5+
  • Honeywell Lyric T5
  • Honeywell Lyric T6 Pro
  • Honeywell Lyric Round
  • Honeywell 7 Day Wi-Fi Programmable Touchscreen Thermostat
  • Honeywell Vision PRO 8000
  • Honeywell Wi-Fi 9000
  • The Simple Thermostat
  • Venstar T7900 Colortouch
  • Venstar T2000 Thermostat
  • Carrier Cor 7-Day Programmable Wi-Fi Thermostat
  • Lux Products 7-Day Programmable Wi-Fi Thermostat
  • LUX Kono

You can apply for the rebate online. You will need proof of purchase, the installing contractor’s name and license number (if you used one for the installations), and your Service Agreement ID from a recent bill.

Sacramento Municipal Utilility District

SMUD offers a $25 instant rebate on ENERGY STAR®-certified smart thermostats purchased through their online store.

Florida Rebates

Lakeland Electric

Lakeland Electric offers $50 off an Energy Star Wi-Fi programmable thermostat.

Lakeland Electric thermostat rebate form.

Idaho rebates

Avista

Avista offers a $150 rebate on smart thermostats that are installed by a contractor, or $125 for one that is installed by the homeowner. According to Avista, any thermostat that is Wi-Fi connected and includes a smartphone application qualifies for the rebate. We recommend sticking with one of the devices on our list.

Primary residences qualify, but second homes do not. Condos are not eligible. Rebates must be submitted within 90 days of installation.

Have your account number and receipt handy. When you’re ready, apply for your rebate online, or print the form and mail it in.

Idaho Power

Idaho Power offers a $75 rebate for a qualifying smart thermostat. The models in our recommended list are all included. Here’s the details. Requirements:

  • Home types must be single-family site-built, manufactured, duplex, triplex or fourplex.
  • The home is heated with electric resistance forced-air heat or a heat pump.
  • The smart thermostat must be connected to the internet.

Print the form rebate form when you’re ready to apply.

Rocky Mountain Power

Rocky Mountain Power gives a $100 smart thermostat rebate for customers with electrically heated homes, and $50 off homes with central air conditioning.

Have your account number and receipt handy. When you’re ready, apply for your rebate online, or print the form and mail it in.

Illinois rebates

Ameren

Ameren Illinois offers $100 when you replace a manual or non-smart programmable thermostat with a qualifying smart thermostat. All of the devices in our recommended list qualify. You can also view the complete list here.

The thermostat must be installed in December 31, 2021. You will need your Ameren account number and your thermostat receipt. When you’re ready, apply online.

Commonwealth Edison (ComEd)

ComEd offers a $100 rebate on ENERGY STAR-certified smart thermostats. The thermostats in our recommended list are all included.

Be sure to apply for your rebate within 60 days of the install, or by February 28, 2022 - whichever comes first.

Important: the thermostat must be purchased in Illinois, or you have to show that you paid the Illinois sales tax with the purchase. Read all the requirements here.

Once you have all the documentation (your receipt and account number) you can apply online or mail in the form.

MidAmerican Energy

MidAmerican offers $75 off programmable thermostats, including smart thermostats.

The thermostat must be installed by Dec. 31, 2021. Once you have your account number and receipt ready, fill in the rebate form and mail it in to get your rebate.

Indiana rebates

IPL

Indianapolis Power and Light offers $50 off ENERGY STAR Wi-Fi thermostats, including those in our recommended list. You can apply for your rebate online.

Vectren

Vectren offers $50 back on a Wi-Fi thermostat, or $75 off a smart thermostat, such as those in our recommended list.

The thermostat must be purchased and installed after Jan. 1, 2021. Have your account number and receipt ready, then apply online or print and mail in the rebate form.

Massachusetts rebates

Massachusetts Electric

Natural gas and electric customers of Masschusetts Electric/National Grid get $25 rebates on programmable thermostats, and $100 on smart thermostats. All of the recommended thermostats in our list qualify for the full $100 rebate.

Your thermostat must be purchased and installed between January 1, 2021 and December 31, 2021 to qualify.

To apply, have your receipt and account number handy, then mail in the completed form or use the online form. You’ll get your rebate as a prepaid Visa card.

Eversource Energy

Eversource offers a rebate of $100 off ENERGY STAR® Certified smart thermostats and $25 off 7-day programmable thermostats.

Your thermostat must be purchased and installed between January 1, 2021 and December 31, 2021 to qualify.

To apply, have your receipt and account number handy, then mail in the completed form or use the online form. You’ll get your rebate as a prepaid Visa card.

Michigan rebates

Consumers Energy

Consumers Energy customers can get a $50 instant rebate by purchasing a smart thermostate on their online store.

DTE Energy

DTE Energy offers a $50 rebate on a smart thermostat purchase for customers with a central air conditioner, who use electricity as the primary heating source (electric resistance or heat pump), or natural gas customers who use natural gas as the primary heating source.

Have your DTE Energy account number and receipt handy. When you’re ready, apply for your rebate online.

Montana rebates

Montana-Dakota Utilities offers a $15 rebate for programmable thermostats with at least 4 configurable setbacks, and $60 back for a Wi-Fi thermostat that is connected to a natural gas furnace.

Get a copy of your receipt and send it in with the form below within 90 days of installation in order to qualify.

Print the form.

New York rebates

Consolidated Edison

Con Ed gives $50 rebate on ENERGY STAR thermostats. Choose one from our recommended list or purchase through their online store.

If you purchased it outside of their online store, have your receipt and electric bill account number handy, you can apply for your rebate online.

National Grid

National Grid offers instant rebates on smart thermostats purchased through their online marketplace.

NYSEG

New York State Electric and Gas offers $75 back on qualifying smart thermostats.

Mail a copy of your receipt with the completed rebate form to receive your rebate by mail.

RG&E

RG&E offers $75 back on qualifying smart thermostats.

Mail a copy of your receipt with the completed rebate form below to receive your rebate by mail.

Orange & Rockland

Orange & Rockland offers a $15 rebate on installed smart thermostats that control either a central air conditioner or an air source heat pump.

Have your account number and receipt ready, then apply for your rebate online.

Oregon rebates

Oregon is a little different from other states in that the smart thermostat rebate program is administered by a single entity: EnergyTrust of Oregon. If you heat your home with electricity or natural gas and are a customer of Portland General Electric, Pacific Power, NW Natural, Cascade Natural Gas or Avista, you can qualify for a $100 rebate.

There is a short list of qualifying models. Be sure to apply within 60 days of purchase to qualify. Once you have a copy of your receipt and your account number, then apply online.

Pennsylvania rebates

In Pennsylvania, if you are a customer of Met-Ed, Penelec, Penn Power, or West Penn Power, you can get a rebate of $25 for the purchase of a programmable or smart thermostat that replaces a non-programmable thermostat.

The rebate must be submitted within 180 days of purchase and postmarked by June 7, 2021.

When you have a copy of your receipt and customer account number ready, print out the form and mail it in. You should receive your rebate within 90 days.

Rhode Island rebates

National Grid Rhode Island offers instant rebates on smart thermostats through their online marketplace.

Texas rebates

Austin Energy

The Austin Energy Power Partner Thermostats offers a $25 rebate for each Wi-Fi thermostat that you install. Qualifying models include our recommended Ecobee and Nest models. You can apply for your rebate online.

CenterPoint Energy

CenterPoint energy offers three tiers of rebates on programmable thermostats: $10 back on a basic programmable thermostat, $25 back on a Wi-Fi thermostat, and $50 back on a learning Wi-Fi thermostat like our recommended Ecobee and Nest models.

Rebate applications for equipment installed in 2021 must be submitted by Dec. 31, 2021. To apply, have a copy of your invoice then apply online.

City of San Antonio

The City of San Antonio actually offers a free Honeywell thermostat if you participate in their demand response program. While the program doesn’t appear to offer an annual rebate, it does give you a smart thermostat for free.

Reliant Energy

Reliant Energy’s Degrees of Difference program pays you $5 for each month from May to October that you are enrolled, which means that you can get up to $30 back every year that you fully participate. The program works with Nest thermostats only.

SWEPCO

SWEPCO customers can get $75 back on Energy Star-certified smart thermostats.

To qualify, the thermostat must be a Wi-Fi enabled smart thermostat with an occupancy sensor. This includes any of the recommended thermostats on our recommended list.

Households can apply for up to two rebates. Submit your rebate application within 30 days of installation.

Read more about the rebate here, and then apply online.

Virginia Rebates

Appalachian Power

Appalachian Power offers the Bring Your Own Thermostat program, which pays a $50 enrollment incentive and $25 each year that you participate.

Danville Utilities

Danville offers $75 back on a Wi-Fi smart thermostat. Take a photo of your installed device, get a copy of your receipt, and mail it in with the rebate form within 90 days of purchase to apply.

Washington rebates

Avista

Avista offers a $150 rebate on smart thermostats that are installed by a contractor, or $125 for one that is installed by the homeowner. According to Avista, any thermostat that is Wi-Fi connected and includes a smartphone application qualifies for the rebate. We recommend sticking with one of the devices on our list.

The rebate is available for single family homes up to a fourplex. Primary residences qualify, but second homes do not. Condos are not eligible. Rebates must be submitted within 90 days.

Have your account number and receipt handy. When you’re ready, apply for your rebate online, or print the form and mail it in.

Clark Public Utilities

Clark PUD customers with an electric furnace or heat pump are eligible for a $75 smart thermostat rebate.

Qualified thermostats include those in our recommended list.

Have your account number and thermostat receipt handy. When you’re ready to apply, print and mail in the rebate form.

PUD 1 of Snohomish County

PUD customers with an electric forced air furnace or ducted heat pump used to heat a single family or manufactured home are eligible for a $75 smart thermostat rebate.

Qualified thermostats include those in our recommended list. Apply within 90 days of purchase to qualify.

Have your PUD account number and thermostat receipt handy. When you’re ready, apply for the rebate online.

Tacoma Public Utilities

Tacoma Power customers with electric forced air or heat pump can qualify for a $50 rebate on a Wi-Fi thermostat. The rebate does not apply to systems that include only air conditioning or dual fuel heating systems (ie. gas furnace with electric heat pump).

When you have a copy of your receipt, you can apply for the rebate online.

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