How much money can you save by reducing the thermostat by 1°C?

Many times it happens to read that it suffices to reduce by 1°C the thermostat of your rooms to cut the heating bill by 30%. Is this true?

First of all, I would like to express a note of extreme caution regarding the information on energy, energy savings and energy technologies you read about in the newspapers and hear on the radio and television. These media most of the times report information that is not factual, is not properly understood or, in the worst case, is plainly false.

For example, a typical mistake is that the media usually report an average heating fuel cost that refers to the entire year, but we all know that the vast majority of the heating energy consumption is going to take place during the three coldest months, when the costs are going to be the highest in any case, because of supply and demand dynamics.

This means that when average prices go down the reduction in heating bills is much lower than what is reported in the news, while when they go up the heating bills will be much higher than what is reported in the news. The majority of the enquiries that we receive every year from our customers are affected by this misrepresentation.

Every year at Cogenpower we receive enquiry about the savings that can be expected by reducing the thermostat settings as they have heard in the news that by simply reducing 1°C in space temperature, they can save more than 30% in the heating bills. Is this true?

Answering to this question is becoming more and more relevant after that today’s technology allows you to control remotely appliances and thermostats in your house. This technology can be installed on smart phones that put arguably the consumer in charge of the house.

Obviously, the answer depends on the specific insulation of the house, on the people or animals that occupy it (as they produce and discharge heat in the inside the house!) and by the activities that are carried out in the house (i.e. a kitchen is usually warmer than an isolated studio).

Putting together several cases and scenarios and running the simulations along the full year, Cogenpower calculations show that by reducing 1°C in space temperature can save you no more than 3% in the heating bills, that is a tenth of what is typically reported!

Assuming therefore that in your flat or in your house, you are currently paying €1,000 for heating bills, reducing by 1°C the space temperature will save you only €30. It is not much, but if that heat was not needed, it a good decision anyway to reduce the space temperature.

Many organisations suggest in fact to keep the house at an average temperature around 20°C +/-2°C and they recommend that in the rooms in which you sleep you opt for the lower temperature range (18-20°C), while in the rooms in which you have your daylight activities you opt for the higher temperature range (20-22°C).

In conclusion, it is always a good idea to double check the facts surrounding news about energy, energy savings and energy technologies you read about in the newspapers and hear on the radio and television.

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