Just 23% of programmable thermostats -- commonplace in North American homes -- have been programmed.
That's why ecobee created apps to control its wifi-enabled Smart Thermostat, which has seen more than 85% of its users program the device, an internal study found.
The Smart Thermostat has an Android app (launched in February) and iOS app (November 2009) in addition to a web portal to monitor and update scheduled thermostat settings.
The company also notes that of users who have an ecobee app, more than 70% access their thermostat at least once a week.
The ecobee Smart Thermostat can give you up-to-date weather information and features a "Quick Save" button that allows you to instantly switch to energy conservation mode. Owners can view detailed reports of their energy consumption with data on indoor temperature and humidity levels, how quickly your system can recover from a setting, how the outdoor weather affects your heating and cooling, as well as how long your system needs to run to maintain your temperature settings.
The ecobee thermostat retails for about $330 on Amazon. The best selling programmable thermostat on Amazon is currently the Honeywell RTH7600D Touchscreen 7-Day Programmable Thermostat for $76.75. It features a weekly schedule like the ecobee but no remote control.
Other companies in the smart thermostat market include Intwine Energy's IECT220, which retails for about the same price, also operates over a wifi network and features an iPhone app. But its design and basic two-tone LED layout leaves a lot to be desired when compared to ecobee's full color display and other features.
Ecobee doesn't release its specific sales figures but a company spokesperson tells LAUNCH via email that they have sold "tens of thousands" of devices that have been installed in North America.
The company also recently launched in Australia, Mexico and Europe, where they have seen good adoption rates, according to the company spokesperson.
The Canada-based company was founded in 2007 by CEO Stuart Lombard and received more than $6.73M in funding from Ontario Emerging Technologies Fund, JLA Ventures and Tech Capital Partners in January 2010.
On the ecobee thermostat's main screen you can adjust the temperature on the touch screen interface by sliding the gauge left or right. The "Quick Save" button allows you to jump into energy saving mode.
You can schedule your ecobee thermostat to run at different temperatures and settings, including fan settings or energy saving modes, throughout the day during the week.
The ecobee web portal allows you to connect to your smart thermostat to see and edit your current settings and programing schedule.
In "Quick Save" mode, you can get back to your previous settings by simply tapping the "Ok" button on the screen.
ecobee's iOS app features a near identical version of the thermostat's display and can be edited in the same fashion.
The iOS app also provides data on current temperature, humidity, setting and fan use.
The ecobee alerts the user when it enters a programed vacation mode and allows the user to remotely edit the vacation setting or adjust the thermostat.
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