Thermostatus: The latest on Thermostat legal status

Many pros already know that a standard upgrade is to install a Honeywell IAQ thermostat! That's why you simply must take a look at this analysis on the Thermostat Wars, Honeywell versus Nest, which now threaten to pre-empt even the infamous browser wars, and cause consternation within the industry:

http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/technology/2012/02/honeywe...

There are some other great thermostat brands out there (Luxpro,White Rodgers, Robertshaw, Johnson controls, etc.) so take a good look around the internet, and not just listen to wholesalers and salespeople. Lots of times the only perception customers and clients have of their climate system is the thermostat!

In general, a thermostat which allows for many settable options including the choice of swing variability is preferable, so that comfort may be balanced against efficiency. The Honeywells or Nest do not allow for this; many others do. 

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Tags: Honeywell, Nest, climate, system, thermostat, wars

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Comment by Bob Blanchette on March 5, 2012 at 7:13am

In Oklahoma City the smart thermostats are part of the smart-grid system. They are radio controlled according to energy prices and customer preferences.

http://www.ogepet.com/programs/smarthours.aspx

Comment by Tom DelConte on March 5, 2012 at 6:54am
Comment by Bob Blanchette on February 29, 2012 at 1:44pm

Alarm.com is going to implement smartgrid controllability in order to maximize consumer savings. All thermostats will eventually be smartgrid controllable, it's just a matter of how long it will take to get there.

Comment by Tom DelConte on February 29, 2012 at 1:21pm

oops: here comes another one! : Alarm.com thermostat:  http://technorati.com/technology/cloud-computing/article/alarmcom-c...

Comment by Diane Chojnowski on February 28, 2012 at 6:32am

I'm not sure what's happening. No one on the moderation side edited anything.

Comment by tedkidd on February 24, 2012 at 10:47am

When encouraging people to save for retirement you want to build the habit of savings and keeping track, not encourage jumping into day trading.  

While you and I might be hypervigilant about watching and "managing" our consumption, I don't think that's where the masses are.  We are outliers.  I think for most homeowners the opportunity, initially, is simply tracking use and periodically looking at long term trend data.  Slow and steady will win the race for most.  Smart meters will offer unforeseen opportunities, but we need to get people to crawl before asking them to fly, or there'll be a lot of people crashing. 

Nor do I think that instant monitoring is where the meat of savings opportunity is or will be until time of use really happens.  I'm seeing 30-70% savings for clients, without onerous requirements for daily monitoring.  I think people want those results without having to log in twice a day, and they are achievable.  

I think month over month, with annual analytics is where we need to start.  Track long term use and compare to others, uncovering and sharing success.  That can be achieved with very little cost and basically no infrastructure requirement.  

Comment by Tom on February 24, 2012 at 9:17am

I'm of the opinion that 15-minute increments is fairly useless when it comes to helping folks figure out where their heavy loads are. Especially if it's made available 24 or 48 hours later as most utility smart meter programs are doing. I've got one-second increment data, with 2-second delay, on my house now (via breaker box sensors) - that way you can see what happens when things turn off and on. If I see a high reading on the in-home display or on my phone I can walk around and sort out what's going on.

And I know enough about my load patterns to understand how badly off I'd be with RTP - the house idles at about 60 watts during the day when no one is home, then runs at around 800 avg. when we're home in the mornings and evenings. We just don't have a lot of opportunity for load shifting during a weekday. (n.b. 15-minute data intervals is good enough for this sort of knowledge)

Comment by Bob Blanchette on February 24, 2012 at 8:58am

That's the beauty of smartgrids, you can track your energy use and cost online in 15minute increments. Very clear to see what works and what doesn't.

Comment by tedkidd on February 24, 2012 at 8:40am

Bob, 

That is absolutely going to happen.  Even without varying cost, demand "penalties" associated with running all loads at once are proving to me that typical setback myth costs business big.  I'm going to start recommending "banking" energy (heating or cooling) to clients who's energy bills show a lot of opportunity in their demand charges.  When I say "banking" - I'm going to suggest they manage thermostats to drive energy into or out of buildings during periods of low load and reduce settings in an attempt to NOT call when they typically have other startup loads.  

That level of perspective is what will really kill those who propose that untailored prescriptive behavioral strategies, but the "setback saves energy" fantasy dies hard.  

Tell people a thing often enough and they will believe it, even without measuring.  But you can't manage what you don't measure.  And unfortunately people are willing to assume an unmeasured thing is true "because it makes sense" to them. 

I recently installed a hybrid heat system on propane - which should never need to use propane (4-5x the cost per unit heat).  Adjacent spaces are also heated with propane, so keeping the heat pump space high so it looses heat to the propane space makes a great deal of sense to me.  

But I've been back a few times and people keep messing with the thermostat, which in turn triggers the propane on both the hybrid and the adjacent space.  

We need to excise the idea that "not heating" is where big opportunity is for savings and replace it with heating smart.  I'm not sure how to do that unless we can gather some like minded folks together and create a counter culture.  You in?  

Unfortunately it will require tracking results, which can be onerous.  We need to be able to counter fairy tales with hard examples.    

Comment by Bob Blanchette on February 24, 2012 at 8:19am

Thermostats will all be going to radio control as smartgrids become commonplace. The days of paying the same price for energy regardless of what it costs the utility are coming to an end. Thermostats that can automatically respond to varying prices of energy is what will REALLY save on utility costs. At that point most people will opt for the  thermostat that is compatible with radio control by their local utility. Our utility gives them away for free including installation to costumers who want them.

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