Resolution Time

Happy New Year! I’ve borrowed a great resolution strategy from a friend of mine (thanks Heather) in hopes that it would be universally adopted. I would love to see all grid-tied electricity consumers reduce their energy consumption by…oh I don’t know…how about a target of 9.1%. Of course I would encourage anybody to reduce their energy consumption without limitation but I think 9.1% would be a very appropriate target for the New Year.

Strategy #1: Thermostat Management

This is a great strategy for energy reduction at this time of year…

  1. Upgrade to an electronic thermostat. Preferably one with programming options to take advantage of some energy management. If you are still using an old mercury style please dispose of it properly and safely. (Here is a helpful link for mercury disposal:

By the way, mercury is toxic and exceptionally well distributed through water or air; please do not ‘throw it away’. It is one of many different substances, within almost everyone’s daily lives, that should simply be treated with respect and care and be disposed of by an appropriate facility. There is also mercury in many other items such as fluorescent lighting equipment and some batteries.


2. Use your new thermostat’s programming capabilities. Regardless of the type of heating system your home uses, the more you limit the temperature differential (Delta ‘T’) between the interior and exterior air temperatures, the less energy it will take to maintain the interior ‘set’ temperature.

I believe the large print on one particular thermostat brand package says that it can save “as much as 33%” on your bill–but the small print shows that you will need to leave your overnight setting at 16.5 degrees Celsius to achieve that (makes my bald head hurt just thinking about; I would forecast an uncomfortable sleep for myself as I dive under and out of the covers like a whale seeking occasional air while trying to maintain some head heat)… Marketing is always interesting as this particular tactic may not be accounting for exactly where in the world this thermostat is applied (ie. Nova Scotia vs. Nunavut).