Project Info

Project Title 
Residential Programmable Communicating Thermostat Customer Satisfaction Survey
Project Number 
DR 05.09
Investor Owned Utilities 
Project Year(s) 
2005 - 2006

Project Summary

Programmable communicating thermostats let home owners adjust their thermostat to reduce cooling/heating loads and save money. The technology also gives Southern California Edison (SCE) the opportunity to better understand usage patterns and reduce demand during peak periods. But within this project, the objective was only to gauge customer acceptance of the PCT, not to test demand reduction. The project represented the first test of a PCT that can only be programmed via the internet. It allowed temporary local adjustment, but programming setback temperatures are done through a web site using the home owner’s computer. Home owners in Valencia and Santa Clarita, California were solicited through a postcard mailing and direct telemarketing. Fifty-one households agreed to have the PCT installed. Customers were contacted 40 to 45 days after the installation to respond to a survey describing how they interacted with the web-based thermostat controls and whether or not they felt comfortable with the technology. Survey results demonstrated that, in general, the target customer demographic was favorable to the PCT. Customers stated that they liked the technology and used it without difficulty, with 58% responding they “strongly liked” and 27% replying they “somewhat liked” programming their thermostat using the Internet feature. Forty-three percent of customers said that before the PCT installation, they did not use their existing thermostat for night setback savings. Forty-three percent of survey participants said that they would be willing to pay from $25.00 to $100 more for a thermostat with this feature. Forty-eight percent were wiling to pay between $1.00 and $3.00 per month for web access to the thermostat. Seventy-three percent responded that they would recommend this thermostat to a friend or relative.

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