Maybe it’s Yankee thrift. Or maybe your blood really does get thinner in warmer climates. For whatever reason, it seems cold-hardy residents of New England keep their home thermostats set much cooler in the winter than do their Southern and Midwestern neighbors.
Good thing, too: setting their thermostats low saves the average Vermonter more than $500 a year in heating costs.
EnergyHub, a New York-based company that develops software and tools for home energy efficiency, crunched data from its Mercury smart thermostat platform to find that the typical customer in Vermont had a heating setpoint of 63.4 degrees Fahrenheit (17.4 degrees Celsius) in November 2011.
By contrast, in Oklahoma and Texas, the average settings for customers’ thermostats were 70.0 degrees Fahrenheit (just over 21.1 degrees Celsius) and 69.9 degrees Fahrenheit (just under 21.1 degrees Celsius), respectively.
“If Vermonters set their thermostats like Texans, their heating bills would go through the roof,” noted EnergyHub’s blog post about the analysis. “Why? Because Vermont has an average 7,746 heating degree days per year, while Texas has only 1,862.”
On the other hand, Oklahomans and Texans wouldn’t notice much of a difference on their heating bills if they set their thermostats to Vermont-like temperatures. The typical savings in Texas would amount to just around $42 a year, according to EnergyHub.
That’s for heating only, though. Texas and Oklahoma residents use a lot of air-conditioning during their sweltering summers, so chances are that’s when a change in thermostat settings could make the biggest difference for them. EnergyHub plans to take a look at what kind of difference soon.