Federal program’s thermostat recommendation sparks debate

Local News

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Whether you like it warm or cool, adjusting your thermostat by even one degree can make a big difference on your energy bill. People are asking how hot is too hot after a federal program shared recommendations on how to set your thermostat.

A program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy called Energy Star says the coolest you should keep your home during the summer is 78 degrees for energy efficiency. The program recommends bumping the temperature up at least four more degrees to 82 when sleeping.

When you’re not at home, Energy Star recommends setting your thermostat to 85. Some locals in Richmond said these temperatures are too high for them.

“I don’t think I could do that,” one Richmond resident told 8News. “I think that’s just too much sweating.”

Energy Star said a smaller gap between indoor and outdoor temperatures can lower your energy bill. 8News spoke with a Dominion Energy spokesperson Tuesday about the report.

Audrey Cannon, the communications specialist for Dominion Energy, told 8News they tell customers to keep the thermostat where it makes them comfortable, but every degree matters. 

“For every degree you raise your thermostat, you can actually save three percent on your bill,” said Cannon.

Cannon said customers can save energy in other ways.

“Close their blinds, especially during the day when they’re not home. Using LED light bulbs is a great way because they don’t cause as much heat,” Cannon suggested. “Also, just doing laundry, running your dishwasher in the evening.”

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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