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The Green Life: A Smarter Thermostat Slashes Almost 60% of Homes' Energy Use

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February 17, 2011

A Smarter Thermostat Slashes Almost 60% of Homes' Energy Use

Lower_thermostat Technology is, in large part, to blame for our energy-intensive lifestyles. But a new study suggests that technology could also provide the cure to all those carbon emissions. A test group of 2,500 residences in Oklahoma managed to curb their peak household energy consumption by up to 33% with the help of websites and simple gadgets that display energy-use levels.

In particular, the homes that used the Smart Thermostat had the greatest energy reduction: 57%. It's a user-friendly system that self-adjusts and even incorporates a smartphone app for away-from-home control. (Similar systems already exist for those who want to improve their home's energy consumption on their own.)

The study, carried out by Oklahoma Gas & Electric (OG&E) last summer, is a promising indication that consumers want to be greener, says OG&E managing director Ken Grant: “In addition to saving on their bills, participants tell us that they generally like being more aware of their energy use and costs,” he said. “Some preprogrammed their thermostats to respond to higher peak prices. Some simply put a note on the refrigerator as a reminder, and others graphed their energy use along with temperatures to identify ways to better manage their electricity.”

OG&E is continuing its study in hopes that more energy companies will follow suit.

--Rosie Spinks

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