October 28, 2016

The SunPower/Ecobee3 Buzz

By: Will Chen

Smart thermostats are increasing in popularity in homes across the U.S. The sleek-looking, energy-efficient, and customizable features of these thermostats make them desirable for homeowners who like the combination of clean aesthetics and energy savings.

But not all smart thermostats have the same “smartness” in terms of compatibility, versatility, and controllability. Ecobee, a Toronto-based company, put out their Ecobee3 in 2014. The Ecobee3, running at $249 retail price, has innovated how the smart thermostats track where you are through its sensors in individual rooms. Most thermostats have sensors that detect the temperature primarily in the hallways that do not reflect the temperature of rooms where people tend to gather and hangout. These sensors are deeply integrated to the functionality of the Ecobee3 because many of its features rely on it.

Control is King of Savings

The greater control you will have in managing air conditioning and heating in your home will cut costs on your electric bill. On average, most smart thermostats will save about $180 a year in energy consumption[1]. But because of the Ecobee3’s sensors there is an even greater control over management of specific rooms and therefore leading to greater savings. Ventilation control is king in energy savings.

Ecobee3 was the first to integrate the ability to control the thermostat from an Android phone, iOS phone, and even the Apple watch. The Ecobee3 has been known as the “app-enabled thermostat” that allows you to have full control of the thermostat wherever you are.

The Ecobee3 is also compatible with Amazon Echo and Apple Homekit, allowing you to control the thermostat through voice command.

How the Ecobee3 Saves

But most people want to know how much investing in a smart thermostat will save them money on their electric bills. The advantage of the Ecobee3 is that it has been proven on average to reduce the heating and cooling costs by 23% annually[2]. The functions of the Ecobee3 naturally help homeowners save on electric bills through its “Smart Home/Away” technology using sensors in detecting when someone is home and when no one is home. This feature allows the smart thermostat to override a scheduled home or away time if it determines through its sensors that you have returned home. This allows for Ecobee3 to not run air conditioning or the heater when no one is home.

Another feature that helps people save on their energy bills is due to the Ecobee3’s “Smart Recovery.” The Ecobee3 detects the local weather throughout the day so that it can adjust to the ideal preferred temperature when you return home. This programming feature allows you to set the time to begin pre-heating or pre-cooling prior to the change between Smart Home or Away[3].

SunPower and Ecobee are partnering together to help homeowners across America save money on their electric bills. By installing a highly efficient SunPower solar system with an Ecobee3, the homeowner can receive a $500 mail-in rebate[4].

“We are thrilled to now offer our customers a new way to save money and lower their impact on the environment using solar energy. SunPower is an excellent partner to support Ecobee’s commitment to innovative programs that drive value, savings and efficiency for our customers,” said Stuart Lombard, president and CEO of Ecobee[5].

Ecobee and SunPower have a unified vision to help homeowners save big on electric bills so that their money can be used toward other things. Ecobee monitors usage from inside the home while SunPower generates energy from outside the home in a concerted effort to help you save.

Interested in massive savings on your electric bill? Get started with SunPower today and add the smart thermostat Ecobee3 in your installation to receive your $500 mail-in rebate!

[1] https://us.sunpower.com/blog/2016/07/21/how-save-summer-electricity-bills/

[2] https://www.ecobee.com/ecobee3/

[3] https://www.ecobee.com/faq/what-is-the-smart-recovery-heat-cool-function-should-i-leave-these-set-to-the-default-on-setting/

[4] https://www.greenconvergence.com/smart-thermostat/

[5] http://newsroom.sunpower.com/2016-03-22-ecobee-and-SunPower-Launch-Program-Helping-Homeowners-to-Take-Control-of-Electricity-Costs


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