Saturday, January 10, 2009

Programmable Thermostats

A couple of bills come through yesterday. One I'm alright about and the other, not so much.

The cottage electrical bill is a quarterly one. I'm ok with this one. The total was $91.92 with $14.51 of it actually for electricity use, the rest all those fees of theirs. The cottage is heated by gas and electrical baseboard heaters.

The gas bill for the house, I'm not cool with. It came to $180.14 even though our consumption is 15% less than last year. This beats our highest bill for the coldest month last year. Yes, the cost of natural gas has gone up but where am I going to look for more savings?

We are going back to my old ways.

D is an avid supporter of the electronic thermostat. I'm not. I'm used to turning on the heat manually in the mornings, off when I'm warm enough and on when I need it and off at night. The house is insulated well enough that we are not dying overnight or in the mornings.

Right now, it is programmed to turn on at 6:30 am til 10 am and then back on at 5 pm til 10 pm to a high of 69 degrees Celsius.

Most times, I find that I do not turn it on at all. If anything, the morning heat wakes up me earlier as I find it easier to sleep in cooler conditions. I do realize D goes to work earlier than I do and do not wish to freeze while showering.

So what D has agreed to do is turn off the heat after his shower and I'll turn it on if I get cold. He's gone for the day anyways so it doesn't affect him. He is also going to start dressing like it is winter and not in T-shirts! And the heat will be turned on by the first person that comes home each day.

We're going to give it a go for the remainder of the winter and if all goes well, will continue onto air conditioning season.

Programmable thermostats have been touted at least here in Canada as a great "savior" of energy but like any tool, it is relative to the individuals using it. I've never had one until now and it will be interesting to see if a few hours savings here and there will make enough of a difference to the bottom line. I'll let you know!


  1. Last year we used the programmable thermostat, but like you, this year we just turn it on when we are cold. Which reminds me. I'm feeling darn cold right about now :) Perhaps I should put more clothes on instead.

  2. I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one!

  3. 69 degrees Celsius! No wonder your bills are so high!. :)

    Of course I assume you meant 69 degrees F. If that's the case, you can definitely do better. My wife and I usually keep the house at 60 degrees when we are home, and 55 when we are gone or sleeping. If we get really cold we sometimes splurge and turn it up to 63 or so...

  4. @ The Executioner -- You guys are hard core! I can learn from you.

    We do do the 55 degrees when we are gone but have lots of room for improvement on the other end!

    I think I am going to have to work on getting my metabolism higher too.

    Thanks for the advice and feedback!