Are thermostats the new energy audits?

In 2013, Efficiency Vermont conducted a field research study to examine the potential of identifying the “heat-loss rate” of buildings with thermostat data. Researchers explored the hypothesis that a programmable communicating thermostat paired with location, weather, and other broadly available information sources could be used to discern meaningful differences in household thermal performance. A small sample of data from 13 thermostats in Vermont homes and small businesses was used to complete the study. Results suggest that using remote diagnostics incorporating data from thermostats may be a cost-effective strategy for efficiency programs and could provide meaningful site-specific insights.

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