I’ve traded my two $70 thermostats for $500 worth of thermostats, and I’m not yet sure it has been worth it. This week we welcome Ecobee’s co-CEO and discuss Apple’s watch.
Woohoo! SmartThings has added support for TCP Lighting, Quirky Pivot Power Genius, and my personal favorite, the ecobee thermostat. This will allow people who currently use apps to control these devices to control them through the SmartThings app, cutting down the number of places you have to go to control your home and giving users a way to set automation plans that incorporate the newly supported gadgets. I’m excited because I’ll now be able to program an away mode that will lower my thermostats, cut my lights off, lock my doors and shut my blinds.
Connected devices need to connect to more than just the internet, they need to connect to each other. And while an open API can help, popularity is more likely to result in that next level of connectivity.
Connecting my house is fun, but when it came to choosing a thermostat that worked with existing platforms, was online and learned what I liked, I was stuck. This is what I chose.
I’ve recently installed a hub and sensor kit that allows me to automate my house. But a few days in I’ve discovered that I need the following three devices to get a real bang for my buck.
The two thermostat systems won’t be clashing head-on anytime soon, as Nest only works in North America and Tado in Europe. But the newer system, from Germany, also offers an interestingly different approach to smart energy control.
Despite some reports, we haven’t seen smart grid firms struggling to raise money — particularly not this week. I’ve seen three investments in the smart grid space — from smart grid network infrastructure, to in-home energy displays — over the past couple of days, bringing in a total of more than $20 million for the three deals.
Investments included $14 million raised by smart grid communications player Tantalus, $6.73 million raised by home energy management player ecobee, and $1.5 million raised by long time building energy management firm Lucid Design Group.
Read More about 3 Smart Grid Fundings This Week
Looking for cash for your cleantech startup? Maybe you should move up north. Ontario said this week it was creating a new CDN $250 million fund ($202.9 million) for technology companies, with the money to be doled out to local startups in cleantech, life sciences, digital media and information communication technology.
The Canadian province has yet to reveal any details on how the cash will be divvied up among the different technologies, but cleantech could play a prominent role — the government announced plans for the fund at the Toronto headquarters of ecobee, a maker of smart thermostats. “We’re committed to supporting clean tech and other emerging technology companies in Ontario,” said John Wilkinson, Ontario’s minister of research and innovation, in a statement.
Ecobee, backed by Tech Capital Partners, Investeco and JLA Ventures, sells its thermostats to homeowners in Canada and the U.S. The company hasn’t said if it plans to apply for cash under the new fund.
Read More about Ontario Government Is the Latest Cleantech VC