Updated: As we reported earlier this year, PG&E is the first utility that has been piloting the smart thermostat collaboration between thermostat giant Honeywell (s HON) and energy software startup Opower. And some early results (collected by PG&E) are in: customers like using the smart thermostats and particularly like being able to remotely control the thermostat using their iPhone. However there were some issues in the trial’s recruitment and installation processes.

Remote control of the smart thermostat could prove to be one of the first smart grid applications that is a clear benefit to consumers. One of the major problems with smart meters is that consumers haven’t really seen the direct benefits (beyond savings) of having the smart meter installed at their homes — a lot of the benefits of smart meters are actually for the utility. But remote control of a thermostat is a service that even companies…

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