Heat Smart has partnerships with public and private organizations from Maine to California.


“Show me the money!”

  • May 19, 2016
  • Heat Smart

Even if you’re not a Tom Cruise or Cuba Gooding Jr. fan, chances are you’re familiar with the phrase from the movie Jerry Maguire. And that’s exactly what we’re doing with our Pilot 2.0 study.

Last fall we launched a bigger, longer study to show our partners where the savings are.  We recruited over 130 families, delivered more than 400 Heat Smart kits, and measured kilowatt usage for an entire heating season, from October 1 through March 31. To measure the behavior changes the study was looking for, we sent three strategically timed reminder surveys to determine behavior change over the course of the study: baseline beginning, middle, and end. With a majority of the surveys returned, we discovered:

  • Before the study, nearly half the families did not turn the heat down at all overnight. By the end, thermostat setback increased significantly with 98.8% reporting they now turn down their thermostats at night, nearly double.
  • Plus, 35.7% more respondents now reported increasing their thermostat setback an average of 8.8 degrees (a set back increase of 6.1 more degrees each night).
  • During the study, 68% of families responded to at least one reminder mailing, and reported thermostat setback increased with each reminder.
  • At the end of the study, 100% of respondents reported saving on their energy bills.
  • The educational component had a strong impact, with 92.2% reporting increased awareness of the potential savings obtained through thermostat set back.
  • 95.2% of the families reported using the weather stripping we provided.
  • 100% of the families indicated they would continue to use the Heat Smart blankets and keep turning down their thermostat even after the Pilot Program, building long term savings.

Bottom line: our kit empowered more people to turn their heat down by more degrees while staying comfortably warm.  These self-reported survey results show marked behavior change and positive impact on family budgets with a minimal, cost-effective investment of $12 per kit. 

This demonstrates real progress in the behavior change that is key to our end goal of helping low income households save money and reduce overall energy demand.

So you see, energy savings programs don’t need to be expensive and they don’t require sophisticated technology or gizmos. The warmth and comfort of all-natural wool inexpensively motivates behavior change to lower heating bills while helping more low-income families stay warm. The result: reduced energy demand, more cost-effective heat assistance programs and more easily-achieved outreach goals.

These results are just the beginning. We’re currently conducting a statistical usage analysis of actual kilowatt usage as part of the pilot and will report those findings to you as soon as we have them. Stay tuned!

Energy burden higher for those who can least afford it. 

1 in 4 households held back by a high energy burden.

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