Last weekend, my landlord came by my apartment to fix a few minor problems before he went on vacation for the holidays. It's really nice that the owners of our buildings are so willing to fix anything that goes wrong before it becomes a major problem.
While he was there, I offered Tom, our landlord, a cup of coffee and chatted with him a bit. He asked how we were liking everything, and if we had noticed any problems with the heat in the building. I told him that we usually keep it set low to save money, but that the manual thermostat works perfectly, and the furnace appears to be very responsive.
Tom said that that was great to hear, since he had just replaced the thermostats before we moved in. Previously, he told me, the apartments in the building were all on the same heating zone, which got to be very expensive, since the lower floors were always too cold, leading the first floor tenants to turn up the heat more, while the upper floors were much too hot.
This disparity in temperature was bad not only uncomfortable and expensive, it was also wasteful of energy. After the previous residents moved out, they had the house converted so that each apartment had its own manual thermostat. The simplicity of these make them easy for everyone to use, and since then, he has not gotten a complaint about the temperature of the house.
Rather than pick something complex and programmable, which could leave people too hot or too cold if they don't know how to set it properly, Tom chose to go with a simpler option, and divided the heating zones, which helped to make the house more efficient.