Stories & Features

Women control the thermostat: BC Hydro survey

Space heaters consume a huge amount of electricity.
Guess who's controlling the temperature in the home?

Let's try to avoid 'thermostat wars' by employing a few energy saving tips

Behind closed doors across the province, a silent power struggle is taking place. A recent BC Hydro survey found when it comes to heating a home, men and women are at odds.

While most respondents claim to be in charge of their thermostat, the poll found that women exercise more temperature control than men.

In fact, 30% of women aged 35 to 54 adjust the thermostat without their partner's or roommate's consent. Meanwhile, less than 20% of men will change the temperature without permission.

This battle of the sexes is heated by the fact that men cite cost savings as the reason they adjust the temperature, while women say comfort is their main motivator.

Compared with other parts of the province, the potential for conflict is even higher if you live in northern B.C. The survey results indicate that almost 20% of northern respondents feel they're engaged in a "thermostat-war" at home.

On average, heating can account for up to 50% of a household's energy use during the cold, winter months. BC Hydro is encouraging customers to use thermostat diplomacy to avoid a thermostat war, and to consider these energy-saving tips:

  • Draftproof your home. Seal gaps and cracks around doors, windows and outlets to prevent heat loss by up to 10%.
  • Manage your thermostat. Install a programmable thermostat to manage heating and save 15% in costs.
  • Insulate your windows. Energy-efficient window treatments can insulate the air space on the inside of your windows, cutting energy costs by up to 20%.

For tools, resources and incentives to help you be smart with power year-round, visit