The Untold Story of the First Smart Thermostat

by on 04/17/2019 in

Complex ideas often begin with answers to everyday problems. And in 2007, Stuart Lombard had a big one: his family returned home from a winter getaway to find their house at a chilly temp of 50°F. Stuart had recently set a personal goal to reduce his environmental footprint by making changes to his daily life, and one of those changes included programming his thermostat to conserve energy. But thermostat companies had fallen behind the times, and their limited capabilities had failed Stuart’s family—again.

When launching a new business, they say timing is everything— Stuart couldn’t agree more. Consumers were rapidly embracing modern technologies like the iPhone, but smart home technology didn’t even exist at the time. “I thought there had to be a better way,” he explains. “I asked myself, how can I use technology to help people conserve energy, save money and reduce their environmental footprint?” As a busy dad of three, Stuart knew he didn’t want to continue sacrificing the comfort of his home to be more efficient. He also knew families like his were too busy to invest lots of time making adjustments to their daily lives. That’s why he came up with a solution that never existed before.

"I knew we had an opportunity to really impact the way people thought about powering their homes", quote by Stuart Lombard, ecobee CEO

The ecobee vision is—and always has been—to offer people smart home technology to enable planet positive actions. Stuart believed that a newly designed, Wi-Fi-enabled thermostat could be exactly what people were looking for. Not only would it be easy to program and have the ability to respond quicker than any other thermostat, it would motivate others to adopt energy-efficient lifestyles. “I knew we had the opportunity to really impact the future by changing the way people thought about powering their homes.” The question was, how could he bring this vision to life?

"By helping people reduce their energy consumption, we're impacting climate change in a positive way" John Meltsaar, co-founder of ecobee

As the business gained momentum, our team grew larger. Stuart, John and Mark ventured out of their comfort zones, disrupting a once stagnant industry and created the first Wifi-enabled thermostat, forever leaving ecobee’s mark on the smart home—and the planet. Mark reflects on this phenomenon: “With ecobee, I’ve been able to do something I never could’ve done by myself. How many people can say they’re actually fighting global warming and reducing energy use at their job every day?”

Since the first ecobee Smart Thermostat was born, ecobee homeowners across North America have saved more than 6.7 TWh of energy, preventing almost half a million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. Together, we’re fighting climate change and building stronger, greener communities.

"How many people can actually say they're fighting climate change by reducing their energy use every day?" Mark Malchiondo, ecobee co-founder

Today, the scope of our mission has widened more than ever. We’re always setting the bar higher; striving for something smarter. Fighting climate change requires us to build a clean energy future, with smart, sustainable homes and communities for everyone. We know that’s going to demand everything we have—much more than what it took to build the world’s first smart thermostat. But if we’re successful, we will have transformed the lives of millions of people in a positive way, and that’s worth working towards.

Let’s keep going.

by ecobee

ecobee is empowering people to live comfortable, energy-efficient lives with smart home technology.

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