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Upgrading your thermostat can reduce your electricity bill

(NC) Even though Canadians can save as much as 5 per cent on their heating bills this winter by simply upgrading to a programmable thermostat, half of homeowners have yet to make the switch.

“Most people don't give a lot of thought to the type of thermostat they have, and those with an old mercury thermostat, or non-programmable unit, would be surprised how much money they're wasting,” says Dave Walton, the director of home ideas at Direct Energy.

“Think about this: You wake-up in the morning and it is cold inside, so you turn your heat up to 24 degrees.  By the time the house heats up you're off to work, but did you turn the thermostat back down?  If not, your furnace will be working all day to heat your house to 24 degrees when no one is home.”

With electricity rates forecasted to increase 46 per cent between 2010 and 2015 , and gas prices continuing to rise from historic lows, Walton advises to invest in a programmable thermostat, which can cost as low as $40 and could save big bucks on your energy bill.

“Digital or programmable thermostats allow you to set different temperatures on different days and times, so you're not wasting energy while you're not at home,” he says. “Needless to say, you recoup the cost of a new thermostat pretty quickly.”

Walton went a step further himself, investing in a 'learning thermostat' that can sense lack of motion in his home and adjust itself to “away mode”. There's also a “green” feature which records when he sets the temperature below the norm (average home temperature is 22 degrees C and provides a report showing how much money he saved by being eco-responsible.

More information is available online at

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