DC Sustainable Energy Utility
Your Guide to Green

Thermostats and Controls

For a limited time, get $100 cash back when you purchase and install a qualifying smart thermostat.

We all want a comfortable, healthy, and productive living environment. Actively regulating the temperature, humidity, and overall air quality of your home can help. There are many options for controlling your heating and cooling systems like programmable thermostats, smart thermostats, outdoor temperature reset controls, and utilizing heating zones—the right option depends on the size, layout, and energy needs of your home.


See Rebates

Yearly Energy Cost Savings:
Save 7%-10%
when you replace your thermostat with a new programmable one.

Get a $100 Coupon Code to use on Nest.com

The DCSEU is working with Nest to provide coupon codes that can be redeemed on the Nest website for an instant $100 rebate. 

Get a Coupon Code

What is a Smart Thermostat?

A smart thermostat is a home heating and cooling control that has the same benefits as a programmable thermostat, with additional controllability to save you energy. Smart thermostats have functionality to adjust HVAC schedules based on local sensors, software algorithms, and/or occupancy sensors. This means that based on your temperature settings, over time the thermostat will slowly adjust your settings by incremental amounts to save energy while maintaining a comfortable temperature.

Many smart thermostats are wi-fi enabled so you can manage and control your temperature settings with an online portal or with an app.

Keep in mind that smart thermostats may not be compatible with certain heating and cooling systems. Check with the thermostat manufacturer, the manufacturer of your heating and cooling system, or a certified contractor to determine if a smart thermostat will work in your home.

DC Residents who purchase and install a smart thermostat listed on the DCSEU Qualifying Product List on or after October 1, 2017 are eligible for a rebate up to $100

If you have a thermostat provided by the Pepco Energy Wise RewardsTM program, you are not eligible for this rebate. Visit the Pepco Energy Wise Rewards program website or call 1-866-353-5798 for more information.

Pepco’s Energy Wise Rewards Program

If you are in the market for a new programmable thermostat, you may want to consider signing up for Pepco’s Energy Wise Rewards Program and receive a programmable thermostat at no charge. In addition, receive an installation bill credit of up to $60 plus annual reward credits of up to $60 off your bill during the summer.

In exchange, Pepco will install a web-programmable thermostat or outdoor switch at your home at no charge and cycle it during peak-use times of summer, called Peak Savings Days.  On Peak Savings Days, Energy Wise Rewards works to reduce electricity usage by “cycling” Energy Wise Rewards participants’ central air conditioners or heat pumps, managing energy use, and reducing the need for costly, new electrical infrastructure.

Choose your Energy Wise Rewards participation level:

Cycling Option  Temperature
Annual Reward Installation Credit Total Rewards for First 12 Months
 50%  1-3 degrees  $30    $30  Up to $60 
 75%   2-4 degrees $45  $45  Up to $90
 100% 4-7 degrees $60 $60 Up to $120

If you plan to upgrade to your own programmable thermostat or a smart thermostat, you can still participate in Energy Wise Rewards with an outdoor switch that Pepco will install outdoors on your central air conditioner or heat pump compressor at no charge.  This device will cycle your system on Peak Savings Days in the summer and reduce your energy usage on these high electric-use days. You will receive all the Energy Wise Rewards program benefits stated above.

What is a Programmable Thermostat?

A programmable thermostat is a home heating control that can adjust the temperature of your home according to your preferences. You could be missing a great energy-saving opportunity if you are still using a manual thermostat. You can set a programmable thermostat to adjust your home’s temperature at times when you’re regularly away or sleeping, an easy way to save energy while staying comfortable at home.

Use a programmable thermostat to automatically warm up your house when you get up in the morning and when you come home at the end of the day. Contrary to popular belief, the energy used to get back up to a comfortable temperature does not exceed the energy you save while the thermostat is turned down.

Have a DCSEU participating contractor install a programmable thermostat and you could be saving up to $40 per year in energy costs, and be eligible for a rebate from the DCSEU.

If you have a thermostat provided by the Pepco Energy Wise RewardsTM program, you are not eligible for this rebate. Visit the Pepco Energy Wise Rewards program website or call 1-866-353-5798 for more information.

What is an Outdoor Temperature Reset?

Outdoor reset controls are used on boilers to measure outside air temperature and adjust the water temperature of the boiler to the lowest possible setting to maintain the heat of the home. If you are upgrading to a new energy-efficient boiler, the unit will already be equipped with outdoor reset controls. For high-efficiency condensing boilers, outdoor reset is essential for maximizing energy efficiency.

For older boilers, adding outdoor reset controls is a good energy-saving action to take. This simple control technology lowers the boiler's water temperature when the outdoor temperature is warmer and increases the temperature when the outdoor temperature is colder.

Have your contractor install an outdoor temperature reset and you could be saving up to $55 per year in energy costs, and be eligible for a $250 rebate from the DCSEU.

What is a Zoned HVAC System?

Zoned Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems use a network of thermostats that control temperatures in different areas of the house. System zoning allows you to save money by running temperature-controlled air to those rooms only when necessary.

Why Zones?

  • Increase your comfort by regulating the temperature of individual rooms - different areas of a home have different temperature needs, depending on occupancy and use.
  • Save money on your energy bills - by heating only the parts of the home that need it, instead of the whole house.

Adding zones when you need to update an old heating system can give additional energy savings. Ask a participating DCSEU contractor whether zoning is a good option to save energy in your home.


Qualifying Product

Qualifying Efficiency Level

Rebate Amount

Qualifying Criteria

Programmable Thermostats


up to $25

Must be installed by a DCSEU Participating Contractor

Outdoor Reset Controls

Only for boilers over 1 year old


Must be installed by a DCSEU Participating Contractor

Smart Thermostat*

See DCSEU Qualified Product List

Up to $100 (Contractor Installed)

  • For purchases after 10/1/17**
  • Must not have received Pepco Energy Wise Rewards thermostat
  • Limit 2 per household
 Smart Thermostat* See DCSEU Qualified Product List Up to $100 (Self Installed)
  • For purchases after 10/1/17**
  • Must not have received Pepco Energy Wise Rewards thermostat
  • Limit 2 per household

*Compatibility of smart thermostats may vary from system to system. Customers should always check with the thermostat manufacturer, the manufacturer of their heating and cooling equipment, and / or with a certified contractor to determine compatibility prior to purchasing a smart thermostat. 
**Smart thermostats must be purchased new. Re-sale thermostats and new parts installed in existing thermostats do not qualify.

Apply for your rebate online


Work with your DCSEU participating contractor to find out which equipment is eligible for rebates or apply for a rebate online if you have worked with a participating contractor to install qualifying equipment. For more information, contact us at 202-479-2222 or info@dcseu.com.

The thermostat rebate offer is only available to residents of the District of Columbia who have not already received a Pepco Energy Wise Rewards thermostat in their home. Current Energy Wise Rewards participants with an outdoor switch provided by Pepco may also be eligible for the DCSEU thermostat rebate. Limit of two rebates per household.

  • Programmable thermostats are eligible for rebates up to $25 and must be installed by a DCSEU Participating Heating and Cooling Contractor.  This requirement is in place as thermostats must be programmed and installed by a professional in order for the DCSEU to claim energy savings and offer a rebate.

  • Smart thermostats must be on the DCSEU Thermostat Qualifying Product List and can be self-installed or installed by a contractor.
  • A receipt showing the thermostat model number, and purchase date must be submitted with the rebate application for all thermostats. Smart thermostats must be purchased new. Re-sale thermostats and new parts installed in existing thermostats do not qualify.
  • For smart thermostat rebate applications, verification of installation must be submitted. Please submit either 1) copy of email confirmation of installation from device manufacturer, or 2) a copy of emailed monthly energy report by the thermostat manufacturer.
  • Rebate amount to be paid may not exceed thermostat purchase value.

Apply for your rebate online

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DC Sustainable Energy Utility
80 M Street SE, Suite 310, Washington, DC 20003 E info@dcseu.com
P 202-479-2222 F 202-450-1552 Toll-Free: 855-MY-DCSEU (855-693-2738)
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