Hydro-Québec seeking testers for Hilo smart home service

Testers will get up to $500 towards the total cost of their Hilo smart devices

Hydro-Québec is looking for participants in a test of its Hilo smart home program.

Hilo hopes to help customers reduce their energy usage while also getting access to a variety of smart home devices to help.

To start, the Hilo website says the service is free for the full duration of its prelaunch phase. Hilo will lend customers the smart devices and install them free of charge, which it claims is about $400 in savings. Then, when the prelaunch phase ends, testers can get up to $500 off the total price of their smart devices if they continue with Hilo. If testers don’t want to continue, Hilo will reinstall the old thermostats and take the smart devices back.

Of course, to be eligible for the $500, testers must participate in Hilo challenges in ‘intrepid mode’ and answer its surveys.

Those who sign up are agreeing to test Hilo’s smart home service from start to finish. The official launch is slated for the fall of 2020. Additionally, testers are agreeing to participate in challenges to reduce energy consumption during peak periods. Finally, testers must also agree to share their experiences, since Hilo wants to “develop the best smart home service” and needs to know what works and what doesn’t to do so.

While not all who fill out participation forms will get to test Hilo, unfortunately. Plus, you need to meet a few basic criteria to be eligible: You must have a Hydro-Québec account in your name, high-speed internet service and Wi-Fi network in your home, a smartphone and a primarily electric heating system.

Currently, Hilo offers two smart device packages for customers. The ‘Essentials’ pack has up to 17 devices, including one hub, four to 12 thermostats, up to four lightbulbs and one smart switch. The ‘Ultimate’ pack is much the same, but with up to two smart switches, up to four light switches, one smoke detector and one weather station. Smart devices include brands like Onelink, ZigBee, Stelpro and more.

Finally, the website notes that customers can use Google Assistant or, in 2020, Amazon Alexa to control Hilo.

Those interested in piloting Hilo can learn more about the program here.