What does a Garden Gnome do when she is not gardening, in the kitchen or doing genealogy? Well the answer might just surprise you so read the entries to find out more. This blog focuses on everything we do to make our house a home. There will be a strong emphasis on home energy efficiency and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. At the same time there will also be crafts, knitting and crocheting projects along with any other little tips we do to create that down to earth, I want to be here home. Please enjoy your visit :)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

New Honeywell UtilityPRO™ Programmable Thermostat Installed

Earlier this month I wrote about enrolling in the peaksaver® program through HydroOne.  This program is designed to help conserve electricity during hot summer weekdays when electricity usage is very high and electricity supply is critically low.  HydroOne can send a signal to the peaksaver® thermostat to turn our AC tempertaure up by 2 degrees Celsius between summer peak demand hours (2 pm - 6pm).  In return for participating in this program we get a one-time $25 credit on our electricity bill, a free professionally-installed programmable thermostat ($250 value) and energy savings if the peaksaver is activated.  The technician came out this week to install the new thermostat.

old thermostat
Our old thermostat is really not all that old.  It was installed when we replaced the central air conditioner a couple of weeks after moving here.  The thermostat was $50 and we received a $25 rebate on it since the thermostat was replacing an ancient non-programmable one.  This was the only thermostat available through the company that installed the air conditioner.  Right from day one I hated it!  Blazened in bright red was their company name and logo so we left the door open most of the time.  Unlike the Hunter programmable thermostat we had at the last house this thermostat was low quality.  It only showed the temperature in degrees Farenheit with option to change to degrees Celsius something I found quite irritating.  The display on the left conuously flashed between indoor temperature and time which was annoying as well. 

Honeywell UtilityPRO™ Series Thermostat
The new thermostat is a Honeywell UtilityPRO™ Series touchscreen programmable demand control thermostat.  The backlit screen remains lit all the time, brightening when the display is touched.  It has the ability to receive messages from HydroOne as well as usage and current tier rate.  Although these controls are shown in the manual they aren't lit on our yet likely because our SmartMeter while now automated is not on Time of Use (TOU) rates yet.  I suspect that they will show once we are switched over to TOU rates. 

If HydroOne triggers the peaksaver the word RAMP will appear at the top of the screen to indicate the start of the adjustment period.  When the 2ºC increase has been reached the word SAVINGS will apper along with a smaller flashing icon.  During this time we will not be able to control the thermostat.  Once the adjustment period is over the word RECOVERY will appear and the temperature will decrease, returning to the original temperature.  The thermostat screen will go blank if the furnace shuts down while operating due to a restricted airflow.  It actually did this twice after being installed.  The technician found two small and very clogged filters we did not know existed that were at one time part of an air cleaner so removed those.  He also said we should have the external heat exchanger coils cleaned.  The screen will also go blank if there is a power outage but all settings are retained so the thermostat will reset itself when the power returns.

A nice bonus feature of the peaksaver thermostat is we can log onto the peaksaver website anywhere that we have internet access and control thermostat settings.  This is a nice feature that will end up saving us money.  We turn lower the thermostat heat setting when away during the winter.  Quite often when we are on vacation or travelling we may decide to stay a bit longer but if we only set the thermostat for the planned number of days the temperature goes back up to the regular program mode meaning we pay for the higher temperature for a couple of days even though we aren't home.  Now it will be as simple as logging in and making the necessary temperature adjustment.  We can also program it to increase the heat about a half hour before we get home so we aren't coming home to a cold house.

Garden Gnome


Laura said...

We have that new thermostat too. At first the night light aspect bugged me. Now I like it as it is right next to the bathroom door for anyone staying over to visit.

Anonymous said...

We just had the UtilityPRO thermostat installed through BGE of Maryland.

Anonymous said...

Came across this old post and want to add a comment that the backlight can be turn off. See menu page 22.

toronto kitchen renovations said...

It’s the right time for us to save our electricity bills after using these thermostat systems. I think this is the better way to save money I'll do it for me.

Anonymous said...

I do not like that there are only 4 time periods and they are the same for heating and cooling. Honeywell dropped the ball on this one. My previous thermostat had different times for heat and cool.
I also do not like the Adaptive Intelligent recovery. I do not want the furnace/airco coming on early. I want it to come on when I set it. I have returned other thermostats that have this feature.
I will be returning this one and dropping out of the programme.

Anonymous said...

I am returning mine to PeakSaver, Horizon, because unlike my previous thermostat, this one has only 4 setback periods and they are the same for heating and cooling. Along with the Adaptive Intelligent Recovery which is a major annoyance. Fail for this thermostat.