EPA clarifies stance on thermostat settings after 78 degree confusion

The Environmental Protection Agency is clarifying its stance on thermostat settings after news went viral that federally run program ENERGY STAR recommended that thermostats be set to 78 degrees when people are at home, 82 degrees when people are asleep and 85 degrees when a home is unoccupied.

The EPA said ENERGY STAR is not actually recommending to set a thermostat at any temperature during the cooling season.

It said, it is simply recommending owners of programmable thermostats increase their air conditioning temperature setting by 7 degrees F when homes are unoccupied and by 4 degrees F when occupants are asleep.

“The website illustrates this approach with an example of pre-programmed, energy-saving temperature settings in some programmable thermostats (which includes a 78 degree F setting),” said Melissa Sullivan, a spokesperson for the EPA.

READ THE FULL STATEMENT BELOW:

“The ENERGY STAR program has not released a report on this topic. The ENERGY STAR program is not recommending that thermostats be set to 78 degrees F or any other temperature during the cooling season.

In order to save energy, the ENERGY STAR website recommends owners of programmable thermostats increase the air conditioning temperature setting by 7 degrees F when homes are unoccupied and by 4 degrees F when occupants are asleep. The website illustrates this approach with an example of pre-programmed, energy-saving temperature settings in some programmable thermostats (which includes a 78 degree F setting). All thermostats are designed to allow for adjustment to ensure personal levels of comfort when people are in the home.”

Melissa A. Sullivan

Public Liaison Specialist, Office of Public Affairs

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

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