“Hey Google” directly links Texans with utility provider


US utility Reliant Energy has partnered with Google to enhance its offering and provide customers with smart home and energy management services.

Customers who sign up for the Reliant Truly Free Weekends plan will receive a Google Home Hub, a new smart display with the Google Assistant.

Reliant will also provide its customers with NEST products including smart thermostats, as part of the partnership.

Reliant Energy customers can sync their accounts to the smart display and use the Hub’s 7-inch screen and voice command to access and manage their energy usage.

Reliant is also the first energy company in the US using Google’s Assistant developer tools to create visual displays that provide personalised energy information.

The service will allow consumers to:

1. Say “Hey Google, ask Reliant, how much electricity am I using?” to access expected weekly electricity charges.

2. Ask Google to ask Reliant how much their monthly bills are, when their energy tariff plans expire, when free weekend starts, as well as set notifications to when free weekends begin.

3. Control a home’s HVAC system by asking Google to make it warmer or cooler using voice commands.

4. Say “Hey good morning, Google” to set personalised daily routines such as reminders for Google to communicate weather and commute updates. By saying “Good night, Google” consumers will be able to automatically switch of thermostats, lights, etc.

5. The service entertainment for instance playing music, movies or provide the latest on weather, traffic, sports, local businesses and more.

Elizabeth Killinger, president of Reliant and NRG Retail, said: “By joining forces with Google, our customers now have access to the newest digital technology that not only provides an energy management solution, but also helps simplify their lives.

“Our team has been hard at work creating commands and an interface that work seamlessly with the Google Home Hub to provide customised information about their energy use and Reliant account. We’re excited to offer our customers best-in-class service in a new and convenient way.”

Customers can sign up for the Reliant Truly Free Weekends plan and receive a Google Home Hub at no cost by visiting reliant.com or calling 1-866-Reliant. Truly Free Weekends begin at 8 p.m. Friday and end at 12 a.m. Monday.