An example here at WSJ and here, but seen around the internet (often grouped together with anecdotes about dummy "walk" buttons and elevator "close door" buttons):

Looking for an office thermostat that actually works? Good luck and Godspeed.

You may never find it. The controls for your company's heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) are likely hidden in the office ducts. If you do spy a thermostat, it's probably locked, or encased behind shatterproof glass.

Richard Dawson, an HVAC specialist from Homer, Ill., who has several landlord clients, says too many office workers feel their environment is "anything but what they want it to be." Better to install a dummy when they're out to lunch, he figures. He estimates that 90% of office thermostats are dummies

Are there reliable numbers on whether the majority (>50%) of apparently user-adjustable thermostats (in offices which appear to have them) usually 'dummies'?

  • 3
    Not an answer, but this may help clearing up some confusion: There are thermostat valves that can only be adjusted by tool ("Behördenmodell" = model for governmental offices). They are not dummies as they actually work as thermostat valve, just setting the temperature needs a tool. Their cap may look normal but without temp numbers. Anecdata: All thermostat valves I met that could not be adjusted locally were very obviuously wired (supposedly to the HVAC). If there's a poll developing here trying to get numbers: we have working user-adjustable thermostats in our offices. (Central Europe) – cbeleites unhappy with SX Jan 14 '15 at 14:55

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