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Save Big With a Programmable Thermostat

Consumers Energy | energy efficiency

Save Big With a Programmable Thermostat Blog Feature

By: Ryan Litwiller on January 21st, 2016

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Setting a system on autopilot feels amazing.

Putting your car on cruise. Putting the DVR on record mode. Putting the coffeemaker on timed brew.

But one autopilot mode can actually save you money, lots of money.

The programmable thermostat.

Sure, it’s not the tech device people wait in line for or anything. Yet incorporating the programmable thermostat into one’s lifestyle can free up more money for one’s desired lifestyle.

Need more convincing? Let’s do this, Q&A form.

What is a programmable thermostat?

A programmable thermostat ensures you can turn your heat up before your wake up, down as you leave for the day and up when you return.

How much can I actually save with a programmable thermostat?

Try up to $180. Consumers Energy said installing one before the winter can help you save that much.

“Programmable thermostats can reduce energy usage and deliver savings without sacrificing comfort,” said Brian Wheeler, spokesman for Consumers Energy. “In addition, Consumers Energy customers can receive up to a $50 rebate when buying a WiFi-enabled programmable thermostat.”

With my new powers, what will turning down the thermostat a few degrees accomplish?

You can save between 1 percent and 3 percent on heating costs for every degree you lower the thermostat, according to Consumers Energy. That adds up over a few months.

Want to see significant savings? Try a double-digit degree throwdown.

“If you are diligent about setting your space back 10 to 15 degrees while you are gone (over 8 hours daily) you could see savings of 5 to 15% off your utility bill,” said Mike Troupos, an energy engineer at Midwest Energy Group.

What would the recommended temperature be set at?

If you are at home, resting in your Snuggie, set your thermostat at 67 degrees. Sleeping? Try 60 degrees, according to Troupos.

However, if you plan to be gone for more than five hours, consider setting your thermostat to 57 degrees.

“If I leave on vacation for a long time, I don’t recommend setting it any cooler than 50 to avoid potential pipe bursts,” Troupos said.


The energy savings from a programmable thermostat are real. Don’t worry about heating your home on high 24/7.

Homeowners use much less energy to heat the house up when you return than to keep it heated while you’re away, according to Consumers Energy.

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