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Lessons from a Smart Thermostat Assessment

By Energy Rant No Comments
Many of us at Michaels are gluttons for data and accompanying analysis. Our homes are test beds. In this post, we look at impacts from smart thermostats, the dangers of wrong assumptions, and extrapolating findings for impact evaluation. Every smart thermostat evaluation I’ve seen uses billing regression models to estimate savings. Unfortunately, this provides an answer and typically not one smart thermostat makers like. The evaluations typically provide no “why” to the results, and therefore, smart thermostat programs go unimproved. Test Bed Description My single family home was built in 1934, has crumby, double-pane, double-hung windows, and unknown amounts of…
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Cooling System Temperature Control- No Savings

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant 5 Comments
Let’s skip the energy supply side this week and talk about thermostats used for cooling. Let’s broaden the discussion to include both programmable thermostats and “smart” or “learning” thermostats. The Nest falls into the latter group. Speaking for the Nest, which I have controlling my heating and cooling, it will learn user patterns by when, and to what level, the user changes temperature setpoints. It also secretly learns the users’ occupancy patterns by keeping an infrared eye on them. For instance, if the thermostat is in a heavy traffic area, it will learn to expect a lot of traffic, and…
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