… as in, sometimes there *is* such a thing as a free lunch.
Our new house had a manual thermostat, which looks like it significantly pre-dated the 1993 construction date of our house. Perhaps they were fans of antique HVAC? Anyway, it was one of the things added to my mental list to replace on our first walk through the home. Programmable thermostats are perfect for forgetful people like us, as you set it once and then never have to think about it again, unless you leave on vacation or the season changes. They save you money too, as you are able to reduce heating/cooling costs when you aren’t home during the day. They can cost anywhere from $50 to $200, so there’s a certain payback period but the convenience is worth something too.
So imagine my delight when I heard a radio ad for the peaksaver program, wherein our utility (Hydro Ottawa) will come and install a free programmable thermostat in your home, and give you $25 cash for your troubles! The catch is that, in the summer, they can remotely increase the temperature of your home by 2 degrees C for up to 4 hours, in order to reduce the load on the power grid and avoid blackout/brownouts.
An additional bonus is that we, too, have access to the remote control feature of the thermostat, so if we forget to turn it down before vacation, we can log in and adjust it online.
If you already have a programmable thermostat, I can understand not bothering to replace it with another one. But if you live in Ottawa, have a manual thermostat, and like free things, then call now!