Who really controls the thermostat? New survey shows Indiana Michigan Power customers at odds over who sets the dial

·7 min read

I&M releases "Thermostat Rumble" survey to coincide with end of Energy Awareness Month and Powering the Next Energy Saving Idea

- Nearly 8,000 I&M customers participated in survey about thermostat settings in their homes.

- Thermostat setting is one of the biggest disagreements among couples and partners, ranking higher than who cooks dinner or takes out garbage.

- More than half (55%) of survey participants said being comfortable is most important to them over saving money, or other concerns when it comes to heating and cooling their home.

FORT WAYNE, Ind., Oct. 28, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Is your partner, roommate, or spouse changing the thermostat behind your back, or arguing with you about the thermostat setting? You are not alone! The temperature in your home is causing a lot of heat – literally – among household residents. According to Indiana Michigan Power's newly released Thermostat Rumble survey, the temperature in your home can become a true rumble complete with espionage, distraction techniques, lies, cheating, and even sabotage.

"I&M's first 'Thermostat Rumble survey was a fun way for our customers to take a look at how households deal with one of the most noticeable uses of energy, which is heating and cooling our homes," said Katie Davis, vice president External Affairs and Customer Experience at I&M. "The survey was also a way to mark October's Energy Awareness Month and inform customers about the different energy-saving programs that are available to them."

I&M is Powering the Next Energy Saving Idea by surveying how our customers set the temperature of their homes during October's National Energy Awareness Month. National Energy Awareness Month encourages the government and companies to raise awareness of the importance of sustainability and managing the nation's energy resources. The company surveyed customers through email, through Next Door (a hyperlocal social network for neighborhoods) and on Twitter.

Who sets the dial?

According to the survey, half of the respondents said they controlled the thermostat, while the other 50% said it's a mutual decision or even an all-out brawl on who sets the dial.

"My wife and I are celebrating our 10 year wedding anniversary and one thing I've learned over the last 10 years, the rule of 'happy wife, happy life' definitely applies to the thermostat," wrote one person that took the survey.

They may be right, as the survey also showed that the temperature setting in a home was likely to be the biggest thing to spark a disagreement among those living in the household. It ranked as more contentious than who was going to handle cooking dinner or take out the garbage.

Sabotage to win the rumble

But what really makes this a rumble? Well, that would be the sabotage.

Some of those in your household might not be telling the whole truth when it comes to the thermostat. Nearly 60% of respondents admitted that even if they lose the discussion over where to set the temperature, they have changed the thermostat when their spouse, partner or roommate was not looking.

Some customers even went to pretty far lengths to keep others in the household fooled.

"I was able to figure out how to manipulate the thermostat at our former house to fool my husband into thinking we had the heat or air turned at the temperature he wanted," another survey respondent wrote.

So what, at the end of the day, is the ideal temperature?

Well, there wasn't a clear consensus among those that took the survey. In fact zero respondents liked it above 74 degrees, 50% thought it should be set between 70-73 degrees and 40% liked it at 69 or below.

Energy Savings

So how does this help customers?

When asked to choose, over half (55%) of survey participants said being comfortable is most important to them over saving money. Around 39% of participants consider costs, while the rest said saving energy is most important to them.

"These results highlight that when it comes to the thermostat, it's not one size fits all," said Davis. "Our goal is to help our customers find the best balance of comfort and savings when it comes to heating and cooling their homes."

Other survey findings include:

  • 75% of respondents only adjust the thermostat once a day, or not at all.

  • 25% of respondents say they will change the temperature up to two or three times a day.

  • 82% of respondents don't have a smart thermostat in the home.

Save Money on Winter Heating

I&M is Powering the Next Energy Saving Idea to help bring down the cost of heating in the winter months.

In the winter, the majority of customers' electric bills go directly to the furnace. If the thermostat is set a little lower during winter months, it can reduce heating costs about 3% for each degree of adjustment. Changing the temperature from 72 degrees to 68 could lower energy bills by up to 10%, and those savings can be significant.

One more way customers can save is by switching from a conventional thermostat to an energy-efficient smart thermostat. That alone can save you up to 12% on heating and 15% on cooling. A smart thermostat learns what temperature the customer likes and builds a schedule around it. Smart thermostats provide proven energy savings and environmental benefits.

Shop the I&M Marketplace, electrically heated customers can and get up to a $75 instant rebate on a smart thermostat, plus free shipping!

Being smart about how you control your home's temperature settings helps you save energy, lower your energy bills, and stay comfortable. Saving energy doesn't have to be hard. There are hundreds of ways to save energy every day. Check out our collection of energy-saving tips for home and work.

Go to ElectricIdeas.com to find energy-saving products, rebates and tools to help you save even more at home and at work.

SURVEY METHODOLOGY: Indiana Michigan Power conducted this survey online within the United States from September 20-October 3, 2021. Responses were collected via email, Next Door and Twitter. Out of the 8,000 participants, 930 are married or live with a partner. This survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

ABOUT INDIANA MICHIGAN POWER: Indiana Michigan Power (I&M) is headquartered in Fort Wayne, and its approximately 2,100 employees serve more than 600,000 customers. More than 85% of its energy delivered in 2020 was emission-free. I&M has at its availability various sources of generation including 2,278 MW of nuclear generation in Michigan, 450 MW of purchased wind generation from Indiana, more than 22 MW of hydro generation in both states and approximately 35 MW of large-scale solar generation in both states. The company's generation portfolio also includes 2,620 MW of coal-fueled generation in Indiana.

ABOUT AMERICAN ELECTRIC POWER: American Electric Power, based in Columbus, Ohio, is powering a cleaner, brighter energy future for its customers and communities. AEP's approximately 16,800 employees operate and maintain the nation's largest electricity transmission system and more than 223,000 miles of distribution lines to safely deliver reliable and affordable power to 5.5 million regulated customers in 11 states. AEP also is one of the nation's largest electricity producers with approximately 31,000 megawatts of diverse generating capacity, including more than 5,900 megawatts of renewable energy. The company's plans include growing its renewable 2 generation portfolio to approximately 50% of total capacity by 2030. AEP is on track to reach an 80% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from 2000 levels by 2030 and has committed to achieving net zero by 2050. AEP is recognized consistently for its focus on sustainability, community engagement, and diversity, equity and inclusion. AEP's family of companies includes utilities AEP Ohio, AEP Texas, Appalachian Power (in Virginia and West Virginia), AEP Appalachian Power (in Tennessee), Indiana Michigan Power, Kentucky Power, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, and Southwestern Electric Power Company (in Arkansas, Louisiana, east Texas and the Texas Panhandle). AEP also owns AEP Energy, which provides innovative competitive energy solutions nationwide. For more information, visit aep.com.

News releases and other information about I&M are available at IndianaMichiganPower.com


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SOURCE Indiana Michigan Power

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