Stealthy Thermostat Fiddling Continues in Some Canadian Homes

Women are more likely to change the temperature at home without telling their spouse or significant other than men.

Vancouver, BC [February 12, 2021] – Half of Canadians who are cohabiting with a spouse or partner claim that setting the temperature at home is a joint effort, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative national sample, 49% of Canadians who are married or live with a significant other say that both partners are equally in charge of setting the thermostat.

Similar proportions of respondents say the responsibility for setting the temperature at home is theirs alone (26%) or in the hands of their spouse or partner (23%).

“The idea of an equal partnership for managing the thermostat is more prevalent in Saskatchewan and Manitoba (61%), Alberta (58%), Atlantic Canada (56%) and British Columbia (53%),” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “Fewer than half of Ontarians (46%) and Quebecers (41%) behave in the same fashion.”

Since a similar Research Co. survey conducted in November 2018, there is a 19-point increase in the proportion of Canadians who are cohabiting with a spouse or partner who say setting the temperature is a joint effort.

Two-in-five Canadians who are married or live with a significant other (39%, +9) admit that they change the temperature at home without telling their spouse or partner “all of the time” or “most of the time”.

Women are more likely to touch the home thermostat without telling their spouse or partner “all of the time” or “most of the time” (45%) than men (34%).

Conversely, 28% of men say they “never” fiddle with the home thermostat without informing their spouse or partner, compared to 22% of women.

More than a third of Canadians (37%, -4) acknowledge that their energy and heating use at home has increased over the past few weeks. Only 13% (-2) report that it has decreased, while 45% (+7) say it has not changed.

Residents of British Columbia are more likely to state that their home energy and heating use has increased (44%), followed by those who reside in Alberta (40%), Saskatchewan and Manitoba (also 40%), Ontario (39%), Quebec (28%) and Atlantic Canada (also 28%).

There are some shifts in the preferred temperature of homes when compared to 2018. Just over one-in-ten Canadians (12%, +3) typically set their thermostat at 18C or lower.

A third of residents (33%, +5) select 19C or 20C, while two-in-five (39%, -1) choose 21C or 22C and 10% (+4) set the temperature at 23C or higher.

Methodology:
Results are based on an online study conducted from February 1 to February 3, 2021, among 800 adult British Columbians. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in British Columbia. The margin of error— which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.5 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty.

Find our data tables here and download the press release here. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.
[c] 778.929.0490
[e] mario.canseco@researchco.ca