Turn Down the Air Conditioning & Save Big Each Month!

ecobee smart thermostat

With it being colder then Jotenheim I figured I would warm things up a bit and talk about how we can all start saving a boat load of cash on our Air Conditioning bills. Hopefully thinking about the hot summer will make it come all that much sooner.

I own an ecobee thermostat and am a huge advocate for their product and it is my tool of choice when it comes to saving money on my heating and cooling bills.

I think that Stuart Lombard and his team are doing marvelous work and are true innovators.

Although you do not need an ecobee to save money on your hydro bill every month its a pretty idiot proof way of doing it.

The easiest way to save money on your hydro bill is to buy a programmable thermostat, program it and use a set back to keep your money in your wallet where it belongs. Although it might seem common sense that a programmable stat saves you money it is not quite that simple since a study by the US Department of Energy found that 50% of all programmable thermostats are not programmed.

Why? In my opinion it is because you need an Engineer in your home to program many of the programmable thermostats on the market which is why I love the ecobee. The ecobee makes it so that even my wife ( hope she does not read this ) can program the thermostat in under 60 seconds without any guidance from me.

How Much Can 1 Degree Save Me?

I live in Ontario Canada and a recent study in Toronto on programmable thermostats by Kim Pressnail, Associate Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Toronto revealed that a 1 degree increase in cooling will result in a potential savings of 1038 KW’s per year.

In my home I pay 15.1 cents per KW on average which means I would potentially save $156.00 a year if I move my thermostat set point from 23 degrees to 24 degrees.

Where else can you put $156.00 back in your pocket just by pushing a button on your thermostat?

Save Big With Time Of Use

I have argued for a while to anyone who would listen that I also think thermostats should have a time of use setting so that homeowners like myself can control the system based off the time of day.

In the same study Professor Kim Pressnail looked at how much you could save in cooling if you paid attention to the time of use schedule. Professor Pressnail proved my point in the study by showing that if you don’t run your air conditioning during on peak which is 11am to 5pm it would result in a savings of $104.00 per year.

Since I am not aware of thermostats that use time of use to control staging ( Hey ecobee how about it? ) the easy way to do this is using the 7 day programming and turn off the cooling between 11am and 5pm. But ideally we should be controlling staging on our multi stage air conditioners to keep the cooling on but do so in ‘low speed’ only.

If you set your stat up 1 degree in cooling AND don’t run it during ‘on peak’ that is a potential combined savings of $260.00 and we have not even talked about heating your home yet.

$260.00 is more than enough to cover the cost of an ecobee SI thermostat making this another one of those home improvements that pays for themself in a year or less! You can find the ecobee SI online for anywhere from $160 to $270 dollars.

For the Green’s to Reflect on.

There are 25 million programmable thermostats installed in the United States according to the Department of Energy and of those 50% are not programmed. So if we use Professor Pressnail’s math  that means that we are wasting literally millions of kilowatts of energy every single year.

Disclosure: I do not work for ecobee and all math was done over the course of a beer but should pass the basic sniff test 🙂


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