The U.S. Bill of Rights grants me free speech; my Miranda rights remind me of my Fifth Amendment right to remain silent; and the National Wildlife Federation’s Clean Energy Bill of Rights helps me breathe, drink, and enjoy healthy air, water, and natural resources.

Though arguably essential to America’s way of living, none of these rights come without a price, especially the Clean Energy Bill of Rights.

It is the cost of these rights that has me considering both sides of the green fence.

Take the emerging trend of smart communicating thermostats, for instance. Right now, these units enable the utility and consumer to share the responsibility of using our natural resources wisely. Rebates are given to those participating in a shedding program that allows the utility to cycle a/c units on and off in areas experiencing peak demand.

It is a mutually beneficial choice made by the utility and by the occupant. I like it.

What happens in the future, however, when the rebate program potentially phases out and the utility begins charging a premium for electricity usage during peak demand?

The choice to be wise stewards is taken away, making it conceivable that running the a/c during the hottest times is when electricity is going to cost your customer the most money.

So, do we scrap the new, smart communicating thermostats?

Nope! In fact, I own one.

Just consider as you sell the features of new technology how it is going to possibly affect the market in the future. After all, most of you plan to still be in business 10 years or so down the road, and protecting your customers’ right to comfort is part of your job.