Xcel Energy advises customers to lower their thermostats to save money. We found out what change can actually do for your bill.
Denver – It will be below zero overnight through Tuesday.
night in Excel Energy It encourages customers to “lower the thermostat a few degrees, ideally to 68 degrees or less,” so customers can save on energy bills.
Exactly how much does that save?
Colorado College mechanical engineering professor Paolo Tabares ran some numbers on a 1,000-, 2,000- and 3,000-square-foot home.
Each home produced the same proportional energy savings.
“For every degree you increase or decrease, you will increase your heating bill by 3%, and if you decrease it by one degree, you will decrease your bill by 3%,” Tabaris said.
Using a computer program created by National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and calculating the data, he determined that the user could save 3% for each degree he lowers the thermostat and increase his bill by 3% for each degree.
Let’s say you pay $100 a month for heating. This means that for every score you lower your set point, you’ll save $3 per month,” Tabaris said.
But this assumes you lower the thermostat by one degree each day of that month.
“Now, if you say that’s not really much, and I agree, only $3, right? But if you shrink it by 5 degrees from 70 to 65, you’re talking about 15%,” Tabares said.
How about a night like Monday night, when the temperature is below freezing. What if you wanted to heat your home one degree more? What will that cost?
Using the example of a $100 bill, which saves about $3 a month, would be about 10 or 11 cents for one night’s use.
To calculate this estimate for your home, look up your gas bill. Take your total before franchise fees and taxes and subtract the service fee, facility, DSMCA, and energy assistance fee.
Then take the remainder and multiply it by 3%.
This represents a total of one month for your temperature to increase or decrease by one degree.
Now, divide that by the number of days your meter was billed, and that will give you a daily estimate for that one-degree decision.
“What I do is lower the set temperature to 58 degrees Fahrenheit for the whole house,” said Dr. Jun Chai, professor of architecture at the University of Colorado.
Zhai just got a high gas bill last month, so he and his wife are trying a new approach. They are the only ones in the house at night, so they set the thermostat low, while using the space heater in the bedroom.
“The electric heat I use is very simple, very cheap, $100. They don’t even have a temperature control. You know one with six settings,” Chai said. “The space heater I have, I use it for eight hours a night. I use the minimum heat, only 200 watts because I’m on one setting. This will reduce the total energy consumption.”
He said he never makes his house below 55 degrees, to avoid freezing pipes. He also gets his house ready to heat up two hours before the alarm goes off.
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