Thursday, December 10, 2009

How Much Would It Cost to Turn the Thermostat Up 2 Degrees?

I was cold this morning, and I wondered what would happen if I turned the thermostat up.

The graph is from First Choice Power. It shows that a two degree increase in the thermostat will increase energy consumption by 12%. This site is in Texas, so they assume a milder climate.

The EPA has a more sophisticated discussion of fuel use; especially in the appendix. The effect of the thermostat change is smaller, about 10%. The appendix shows that the main effect is the difference from the outside temperature and the inside temperature. The milder it is, the less the temperature setting matters.

There is an easier to use equation is on the MGE (Madison WI) site, which has a Java app.  I can dial in my conditions, and see the savings. A one degree change is about 12%. 

If I turned it up 2 degrees on a very cold day for twelve hours, it might cost about fifty cents. On the other hand, it would cost me about $30 for the whole month.