ecobee Smart Thermostat – Cutting Down Energy Use, Giving You More Control

The Empower Home Energy Tune-Up Package
ecobee as a foundational element

the ecobee smart thermostat is the center hub of the Empower Home Energy Tune-Up
The Empower Home Energy Tune-Up is designed to be a low cost/high impact energy efficiency package for homeowners. On average, we are seeing homeowners saving $600+ per year by installing the package. The package includes:

  • Insulation by Owens Corning
  • Air sealing the attic, ducts and basement of the home from outside elements
  • LED light bulbs in high use areas
  • ecobee smart thermostat

While insulation and air sealing have been deemed by many within the home construction and remodeling industries to be the home upgrade with biggest bang for the buck, the ecobee smart thermostat helps underscore the homeowner’s efforts to reduce energy costs and use, and have greater control over the home’s energy use.

Smart Thermostats versus Programmable Thermostats

Before getting into the benefits of the ecobee smart thermostat, and why Empower has chosen this product over other smart thermostats, it’s important to explain the difference between a smart thermostat and a programmable thermostat. Many homeowners today own a programmable thermostat. In the 90’s and early 2000’s, programmable thermostats offered homeowners a way to better manage their home’s energy use by setting different home temperature goals based on the time of day:
“Don’t heat or cool my home as much during business hours because I’m at work during the day and the kids are at school.”
But a smart thermostat goes way beyond anything a programmable thermostat can do, and the results on lowering energy costs are like night and day. Not only can one program a smart thermostat based on heating or cooling needs by time of day, a smart thermostat actually “learns” how you live. It recognizes when it’s late at night, and the family is sound asleep, adjusting to not over-use your HVAC system during these hours. It recognizes when the home is empty, and when you return home, heating or cooling your home as a result of being present. And it learns how hot or cold you like your home, so it doesn’t just stick to a temperature you select, but rather sticks to a comfort level the system learns.
And most impressively, a smart thermostat is typically Wi-Fi connected, and programmable via smart phone or tablet. As our society continues to march toward the “Internet of things” being mainstream, the smart thermostat will end up playing a central role in controlling how electric and gas-using appliance operate.

Why Empower Installs ecobee

There are a lot of smart thermostat options out there, ranging in price from $200 to $700. Empower has partnered with ecobee to install the ecobee Si, and for good reason. We looked at a number of smart thermostats, even others within the ecobee family of products. We settled on the ecobee Si for three primary reasons:

  1. Cost
    The ecobee Si costs anywhere from $200 to $300 retail, not including installation. We offer the product fully installed as part of our overall Home Energy Tune-Up package, and it line-items at about $250 fully installed
  2. Responsible Data Use
    Many smart thermostat manufacturers are exploiting the data a smart thermostat provides to sell to third party companies or to offer more robust advertising and marketing services (e.g. Nest is Google, and Google wants to know more about how you live in your home so they can sell that information to advertisers)
  3. It’s easy to install; It’s easy to use
    We looked at a lot of different products, and found the ecobee Si to be easy to install. But more importantly, it’s easy for the homeowner to use, manipulate and play with via smart phone or tablet.

Product Reviews for ecobee Si

Lastly, the following are a couple of product review articles from reputable technology and consumer-focused publishers: