In response to Boston’s electricity rates on the rise, the City of Boston is working to help residents decrease their energy use. All season long, we’ll be sharing everyday tips to decrease energy use, save money on your bills, and stay cozy at home this winter. First, we’re setting the record straight on one super easy, energy-saving action that will make a huge difference–turning back and programming your thermostat.
Preliminary results from a study that the City of Boston participated in with the Urban Sustainability Directors Network shows that one of the easiest and most impactful actions you can take to reduce your carbon footprint and your utility bill is setting back and programming your thermostat. The study used energy use and housing characteristic data from the 2009 Residential Energy Consumption Set, as well as modeled behaviors, to project which behaviors would have the greatest savings.
One of the easiest and most impactful actions you can take to reduce your carbon footprint and your utility bill is setting back and programming your thermostat.
This debunks the myth that turning down your thermostat while you are sleeping or away wastes energy because “the heating system has to work harder to turn back on”. According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), for every degree setback on your thermostat you’ll save about two percent on your energy bills. Energy experts suggest setting your thermostat to 68 degrees when you are home. When you leave your home or going to sleep, set your thermostat to 58-60°F. Turning your thermostat back 10°F–15°F for at least eight hours a day will allow you to save 10-15 percent off your heating bill, according to the U.S. DOE. How much energy you save depends on how well-sealed your house is, the size of your heating system, and how you well your furnace is maintained.
Turning your thermostat back 10°F–15°F for at least eight hours a day will allow you to save 10-15 percent off your heating bill
By programming your thermostat to be cooler when you’re sleeping and when you’re away, you can reduce your energy bills by 10 to 15%. Now pair that up with some of these other strategies and you can be saving some serious cash each month.
Don’t have a programmable thermostat? You can get a free programmable thermostat through a Renew Boston when you get your no-cost home energy assessment. If you don’t want to wait, you can purchase one for as low as $15. There are all sorts of rebates available for Bostonians through MassSave (up to $100!) depending on where you live and your home’s heating source. Basic programmable thermostats allow you to set the temperature to 68°F when you wake up, and down to 58°F and when you go to sleep. If you opt for a more advanced WiFi-connected “smart thermostat,” it will learn your behaviors and patterns to help you save energy when you’re away. Plus, you can control it from anywhere!