P. 136 of this pdf tells us that the average internal winter temperature of homes in Great Britain in 2010 was 16.9°C (62.4°F).

I am interested in finding the corresponding figures for other developed countries (e.g. US, Japan, Germany), where can I find these?

My anecdotal experience in the US is that the standard winter thermostat setting is 70°F (21.1°C). Reducing it to say 68°F (20°C) tends to require a concerted campaign, even at a liberal arts college.

My belief and hope is that if people in the US were made aware that people from equally rich countries are able to suffer much lower temperatures, then so can they. But first I'd like to know where such statistics/data can be found.

Quote that inspired me to look for these data:

I recall the English (now American) economist Ronald Coase telling me that until he visited the United States he did not know it was possible to be warm. (NYT, 2012)

  • 1
    Do bear in mind that observed average internal winter temperature, desired internal temperature, comfortable intenal temperature, and thermostat settings are four very different things. Cold British homes in 2010 means lots of things: poor-quality building stock, inadequately sized heating systems, a very cold winter, poverty, excess deaths, bad health from damp and mould, and so on.
    – 410 gone
    Commented Aug 21, 2014 at 20:56
  • By memory, it is about the same in Canada where on average the outside temperature is much lower. Houses and offices are warmed and chilled to a constant ideal, regardless of the outside temperature.
    – Hurelu
    Commented Feb 15, 2015 at 11:54

1 Answer 1


While researching for another question, I found some data for the US that might be helpful.

The EIA's 2009 Residential Energy Consumption Survey includes thermostat settings organized in several ways, including by state, income, census region, type of home, etc. Here's a sample of what the data looks like:

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