Dial Down to Save More

Setting back your thermostat during the winter months can lead to big savings in energy and dollars.

Home heating is the largest energy expense in the average U.S. home, accounting for nearly 50% of your energy bill. Winter heating season runs from November through March—nearly half the year! But households can take some simple steps to be more energy efficient.

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Setback benefits

Managing your thermostat can cut up to 10% of your home's heating costs. Whether you have a manual, programmable or smart thermostat, setting back the temperature in your home when you are gone or sleeping can instantly add up to savings.

Recommended settings for savings

Thermostat icon 68 degrees


Thermostat icon 55 degrees

Away *

Thermostat icon 58 degrees

Sleep *

*Or as low as health permits. Check with your doctor if you have a medical condition that requires different temperatures. If you have had problems with pipes freezing during extremely cold weather, correct the problem before setting back. Check the owner's manual if turning down the temperature for more than 24 hours.

Not only do these setbacks help put money back in your pocket, but they also put less demand on the natural gas resources used to heat homes in our community. If every MGE customer set back his or her thermostat by 1º F this winter, we could save enough gas to heat 3,100 homes next year.

The more you set back, the more you save

Set Back 8 hours per day 16 hours per day 24 hours per day
5% 10% 15%
7% 14% 21%
11° 11% 22% 33%
13° 13% 26% 39%
Focus on Energy

Smart thermostats are now an even smarter purchase with a $75 incentive from Wisconsin's Focus on Energy program! The offer is available to MGE customers with some qualifications. To learn more, visit focusonenergy.com

Adjusting the temperature made easy

Setting back your thermostat can equal the same savings regardless of the type of thermostat you have. Programmable and smart thermostats, however, can make it more convenient to adjust the temperature in your home.

Programmable thermostats allow you to schedule your furnace to turn off and on based on a schedule that you set. Most offer a weekday and weekend schedule since many families' patterns change based on the day.

New technologies, such as smart thermostats, provide even more control by allowing you to adjust the temperature in your home remotely from a smartphone or tablet. Some models also can adapt to your household behaviors and adjust the temperature accordingly.

Smart thermostat pilot coming in 2017

New technologies have the potential to help customers save substantial amounts of energy and, in turn, money. As part of our Energy 2030 framework, MGE is committed to exploring these new technologies with our customers to give them more control over their energy use while reducing peak demand on our electric grid. If we control and reduce our energy use—individually and collectively—we will help to reduce costs for all of us in the long run.

A Smart Thermostat Demand Response pilot program, being introduced later this year, will allow MGE to communicate with participating customers' smart thermostats and to adjust them during peak periods to better manage the grid. Stay tuned to energy2030together.com and mge.com for details.

Explore other features about how saving energy impacts Our Community Grid.

published: 02-01-2017