Energy - Electronic Thermostats
The efficient management of indoor temperatures can significantly reduce both heating costs and energy use. A new generation of electronic thermostats can be programmed to automatically adjust temperatures based on time, activity, or weather.
Some new communicating thermostats can be integrated into a "whole building" electronic control system or controlled directly from a central computer. Not only can temperatures be regulated accurately, but some systems will also compute and track energy savings.
Next-generation HVAC (heating, ventilating and air conditioning) efficiency management tools include load management features that allow users and/or utilities to remotely adjust indoor temperature settings in response to high loads or excess temperatures.
The U. S. Department of Energy has a helpful web page with lots of information about programmable thermostats.