EPA makes push for homeowners to use ‘smart thermostats’

CHICAGO (AP) — The head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is making an impassioned push for homeowners to adopt 1 million Wi-Fi-enabled “smart thermostats” over the next five years as a way to save money and limit carbon pollution contributing to climate change. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said Thursday in Chicago that besides saving consumers money, the technology is at the center of a major public health issue and makes it easy for individuals to “stand up” and do something about climate-altering pollution. McCarthy spoke at an event launching the nation’s largest incentives program to encourage the use of the technology. Utility companies in northern Illinois have joined together to offer homeowners rebates of up to half the cost of the devices, which allow users to control cooling and heating programs from their smartphones, tablets and computers.