Skip to main content
Use this one simple tool to save energy throughout the winter
nest thermostat

When the temperature outside drops, the temperature inside tends to rise. But that doesn’t mean utility bills need to rise, too.

A programmable thermostat is a simple tool that homeowners can use throughout the winter to help save energy and money in their homes.

Programmable thermostats are designed to adjust the temperature in a home according to a series of pre-programmed settings. Homeowners can use the settings to their advantage during the colder months by lowering the temperature in their homes when they’re away and asleep, and raising the temperature when they’re home.

According to the Department of Energy, “[Homeowners] can save as much as 10 percent a year on heating and cooling by simply turning [their] thermostat back seven to 10 degrees for eight hours a day from its normal setting.”

While homeowners can reap the same energy-saving benefits by manually adjusting the temperature in their homes, programmable thermostats give them the opportunity to “set it and forget it.”

Here are three things homeowners should keep in mind to help them save energy and money when using a programmable thermostat.

Choose the right thermostat 

setting a thermostat

The first step to saving money with a programmable thermostat is choosing the right one. There are a few basic types of programmable thermostats:

  • 7-day programming thermostats let the user program a different heating schedule for each day of the week.
  • 5-1-1 programming thermostats let the user program one heating schedule for weekdays, plus a different heating schedule both for Saturday and Sunday.
  • 5-2 programming thermostats let the user program one heating schedule for weekdays, and a different heating schedule for weekends.
  • 1-week programming thermostats let the user program one heating plan for the entire week.
  • WiFi programming thermostats let the user program and check temperature settings at any time from an app on their smartphone.

Set a schedule 

nest thermostat

Once a homeowner has found the perfect thermostat for their home, it’s time to set a schedule that fits their life and also saves them energy.

The Department of Energy says, “[Homeowners] can easily save energy in the winter by setting the thermostat to 68°F while [they’re] awake and setting it lower while [they’re] asleep or away from home.”

Here’s a simple schedule that homeowners can follow when programming their thermostat.

When the family is waking up: The temperature in a home should be at its lowest while the family is sleeping. Homeowners should program their thermostat to reach their desired heating temperature by the time their family starts waking up for the day.

When the family is away: When the family is away during the day, the temperature in the home should return to its lower setting. Homeowners should program their thermostat to lower the temperature in their homes by seven to 10 degrees.

When the family returns home: As the family begins returning home for the day, the temperature in the house should rise to its heating setting. Homeowners should program their thermostat to reach their desired heating temperature by the time their family is home for the evening.

When the family is sleeping: When the family tucks into bed for the night, the temperature in the home should return to its lowest setting. Homeowners should program their thermostat to lower the temperature in their homes by seven to 10 degrees.

Save even more money 

save money family

Qualifying Black Hills Energy customers can save money when they purchase a new smart thermostat. Customers can see if they’re eligible for an energy efficiency rebate here

 


Black Hills Energy Blog

  • You’ve got enough things to juggle, paying your energy bill shouldn’t be one of them. Fall tends to bring with it a lot of action, whether it’s a return to the classroom for your kids, a new football season for your favorite team or new duties at your job. You’re going to be busy, busy, busy; so…
  • When temperatures are high outside and you’re feeling especially grateful for the coolness of your air conditioner, the last thing on your mind is your furnace. I mean, who wants to think about that when summer is in full swing? We get it – right now you want to bask in the sunshine and cherish…
  • Nothing says summer like grilling. Warm evenings with the mouth-watering aroma of a juicy steak (paired with grilled potatoes and summer squash) wafting across the lawn —  it’s hard to beat. But the yummy food coming off the grill isn’t the only positive of grilling. You’ll also be saving…
  • A lot of us have spent the past few weeks in our yards planting flowers, trimming trees and wondering what to do when that cute baby bunny is big enough to raid the garden. After a long winter, prepping the yard for summer can feel more like play than work. All of our focus is outside, which is…