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Energy Tip #19: Regulate home temperature

thermostat.gifSimple solutions are always attractive.

And it doesn’t get much simpler than turning down the thermostat to save some money and CO2, right? Well, say hello to the programmable thermostat, which combines the drama of temperature control with the thrill of programming a VCR (if this is even done anymore in an age of TiVos, DVDs, and YouTube).

Given the added complexity of what used to essentially be an on-off switch, why bother with a programmable thermostat? Because fine tuning the temperature control of your can lead to substantial reductions in heating costs.

According to the Rocky Mountain Institute, for every 1° you lower your thermostat, you save 2 percent in energy costs. What many people don’t realize is that you can comfortably lower your thermostat by 5-10° at night, when you’re tucked into bed. A programmable thermostat makes this adjustment for you, and can even be set to warm the house back up before your alarm clock goes off. With this one change, you can save $80-100 a year.

Let’s look at the numbers a little more in depth…

Annual heating and cooling costs: $850
Percent savings from adjusting thermostat: 10 – 33%
Annual savings: $85 – 283
CO2 Savings: 1,900 – 6,325

If you don’t already have a programmable thermostat, consider it. And consider investing a half hour in learning how to operate it. The savings derived from one year’s use will more than pay for the $30 – 100 cost.

And as for turning down the heat? As my father used to tell us “Cold, eh? Well maybe if you put on a sweater and some socks…”

Last week 93 people pledged to follow the rules of the road for substantial CO2 savings. At an average of 320 lbs saved per pledge, this equates to about 29,760 lbs. of CO2 saved/year. Let’s keep it going!

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