As winter edges closer for those of us in the northern hemisphere, thoughts once again turn to heating our homes. This new device promises cost saving and its touch screen beauty along with wi-fi connectivity will give you access to your HVAC system from the Internet .
The ecobee Smart Thermostat is an attractive, modern-looking consumer electronic device with an easy-to-read full-color LCD screen, featuring touch-screen technology. The thermostat connects to the homeowners’ standard WiFi (wireless network), which gives them remote access to their thermostat settings from any computer. Its guided “Wizard” function leads the homeowner through each step of the programming process with a series of simple questions.
“Ordinary, old-style programmable thermostats, if used correctly, save homeowners about 15-20% of their heating or cooling bills on average,” said ecobee President & CEO Stuart Lombard. “But it takes a rocket scientist to figure out how to program them, so people don’t use them and don’t get the energy savings they could.”
Lombard explained that he founded the company because he wanted to reduce his home energy consumption and had trouble programming his own home thermostat. He thought there must be a better way. “The ecobee philosophy is ‘green made easy’!” he remarked. “We can make a positive environmental impact if we make conservation a simple and easy choice.”
Using the technology platform ecobee has established for its Smart Thermostat, North American utilities can communicate one-on-one with their residential customers, to send them branded messages, alerts and notices of demand response events. Throughout North America, utilities are incorporating new rate structures to drive reduction of peak demand. The ecobee Smart Thermostat allows them to strengthen their green leadership at the community level by empowering individual customers with the tools they need to adjust to new rate structures so they can conserve energy and control their utility bills.
The Smart Thermostat can be pre-ordered online at ecobee’s website (www.ecobee.com) for delivery in early 2009. It will also be available from selected HVAC technicians. The company says the product which sells for $385, will pay for itself with energy cost savings within the first 12 – 18 months.
ecobee has already received high accolades: it won two awards within the past month – prior to launching its first product:
- On September 16th ecobee was selected as a Red Herring Top 50 Company, celebrating the most innovative and promising companies,
- It was chosen as a Canada Top 10 Technology Company on September 24
Lombard says the company, founded in 2007, will target the large markets of heating, cooling and ventilation, utility demand response and green automation. ecobee estimates that eight million thermostats are installed in North America each year, with programmable thermostat sales of about $1 billion annually. “These markets are in for a huge shake-up,” Lombard said. “There is growing awareness of the need for home energy conservation due to high energy prices, a lack of capacity within the electrical grid, a changing regulatory environment and growing concern over environmental issues, including global warming and consumers’ desire to reduce their environmental impact.””