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Programmable & Setback
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Basics & Theory

Energy Star: Online Video On Choosing & Using Programmable Thermostat
Energy Star online video explores benefits of using a programmable thermostat in the home. It shows you what type of thermostat to look for, and offers sample temperature settings that can help you save money.

LBL: History & Literature Review Of Residential Thermostats
US Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory report Residential Thermostats: Comfort Controls in California Homes provides a literature review to help understanding of the factors affecting the effectiveness of the thermostat and its use including technical, behavioral, and organizational aspects. (PDF)

US DOE: Overview Of Programmable Thermostats
US Department of Energy describes how digital programmable thermostats set for energy savings during the heating season can save energy and money.
Information Sources

Healthy Heating: Links To Reports On Programmable Thermostats
Healthy Heating provides list of scientific papers on setback thermostats, many which have studied how people actually use these devices with success and how they often end up using more energy than what they were intended to save.
Issues & Performance

Alberta Univ: Pros & Cons Of Programmable Thermostats For Energy Savings
University of Alberta study Programmable Thermostats as Means of Generating Energy Savings: Some Pros and Cons, suggests that for various reasons the extent of any energy savings resulting from programmable thermostats in a residential context is much less than projected. (PDF)

Clima 007: Occupants Have False Idea Of Comfortable Summer Season Temperatures
Clima 2007 paper Occupants Have False Idea of Comfortable Summer Season Temperatures says this may have energy implications. If occupants adjust temperature to, for example, 18 °C in a building with a mechanical cooling system, it leads to unnecessary use of energy. People should be educated about the values of comfortable temperatures in the summer season. (PDF)

CMHC: Effects Of Thermostat Setting On Energy Consumption
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation provides this study on energy savings from thermostat set-back which demonstrates the benefits of this relatively simple energy conservation measure. (PDF)

Energy Aware: Certification Program For Programmable Thermostats
National Electrical Manufacturers Association administers Energy Aware, a certification and labeling program for high-performance programmable thermostats for residential use. The program is intended to assist distributors, contractors, installers, and homeowners in choosing programmable thermostat models that will best meet individual and family needs to manage and reduce energy usage while maintaining comfortable indoor temperatures.

Energy Vanguard: Thermostat Setbacks Save Energy
Energy Vanguard says fundamental principles of physics are well established, and research shows that thermostat setbacks can save energy.

Fraunhofer: Behavioral Strategies for Effective Use of Programmable Thermostats
Fraunhofer report Evaluation of Behavioral Strategies for Effective Use of Programmable Thermostats in Multifamily Affordable Housing describes a field experiment to test two behavioral interventions designed to increase the effective use of programmable thermostats by low-income tenants who pay for utility bills. (PDF)

IRC: Thermostat Setback Effect On Whole Building Performance
Canadian Institute for Research in Construction study of energy, indoor humidity and durability of a home suggest thermostat with temperature setback reduces heating energy consumption by as much as 4.42%, in the case of single-step up, and 3.62%, in case of multiple-steps up, when compared to the case with a constant temperature setting (reference case). This energy saving strategy, however, results in high indoor relative humidity fluctuations. (PDF)

LBL: How People Actually Use Thermostats
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory study How People Actually Use Thermostats says today’s modern programmable thermostats are complicated and difficult for users to understand, leading to errors in operation and wasted energy. (PDF)

Save On Energy: Programmable Thermostats Can Save Up To $180 Per Year
Save On Energy says homeowners can save about $180 a year by properly setting their programmable thermostats and maintaining those settings.

US DOE: Field Evaluation Of Occupants Use Of Programmable Thermostats
US Department of Energy study Field Evaluation of Programmable Thermostats found that only people with a strong motivation to save energy or money or both can benefit from energy saving features of programmable thermostats. The rest of the population is likely to use them to maintain a comfortable temperature in their houses. (PDF)

Building America: Programmable Thermostat Installation
Building America Solution Center describes how to install a programmable thermostat to control the heating and cooling equipment.

CMHC: Operating Setback Thermostats
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation fact sheet quantifies the savings but also describes houses or conditions where setback thermostats are not recommended. (PDF)
Product Supply

Warmair: Online Thermostat Set-back Savings Calculator
Warmair has an online calculator to figure out how much can be saved by setting back a thermostat, for different temperature settings.
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