by Tracey Kline
Swarthmore resident Charles Pell has offered to help neighbors install and program their programmable thermostats.
“Once I figured out how easy they are to use,” Pell said, “I decided to help others.”
Charlie demonstrates his Nest Programmable thermostat. The thermostat can be monitored from a smartphone while you are away from home.
According to EnergyStar.gov, a properly programmed thermostat can save 10-30% on your energy bill. Yet more than 30% of households with programmable thermostats do not use custom or default thermostat programs.
Pell, an engineer, admits that he and his wife Julie had a programmable thermostat for years without knowing how to program it. Committed to sustainability and energy efficiency, he finally perused the Internet and found a programmable thermostat that was both efficient and easy to use: Nest.
“We installed the Nest Thermostat in December 2012,” he says, “and immediately observed our energy bills drop. It took 20 minutes to install, and we got our money back in a year.”