HomeKit-Compatible Ecobee Thermostat Trialing 'Peak Relief' Money Saving Feature

Smart thermostat company Ecobee has become the focus of a new profile shared online today by CNET, and alongside that article the company has revealed a new money saving feature for select Ecobee users called "Peak Relief." This feature was created to help users save on energy bills by automatically cutting down on heating and cooling when energy rates are higher, and then using more when rates are lower.


For those in the test, Ecobee says Peak Relief can help customers save an extra 10 percent on heating and cooling bills. Adding in the up to 23 percent of savings that Ecobee already claims from normal use, the company now aims to save customers as much as 33 percent on monthly heating and cooling bills.

Ecobee CEO Stuart Lombard mentioned that the feature was developed over a year and a half and uses artificial intelligence and indoor/outdoor temperature readings to customize settings for each home. This is then combined with time-of-use rates from a utilities provider, which charge customers different prices depending on the time of day versus standard flat rates that go up as users consume more energy.

CNET explains that Peak Relief requires time-of-use utility rates, and while these rates have the potential to cut-down costs it can be difficult to keep track of the higher demand periods, which is where Ecobee's new feature comes in:
Time-of-use has the potential to save customers money and help utilities avoid spikes in demand. But, many customers have a hard time keeping track of varying time-of-use rates, resulting in less energy savings for utilities and potentially higher costs for customers. Peak Relief may be able to alleviate that problem.

So, how does Peak Relief work? Let's say you set your thermostat temperature to cool at 74 degrees. With Peak Relief, the thermostat will automatically cool your home to 71 or 72 degrees when rates are lower, then allow the temperature to slowly go back up to 74 when rates increase.

The feature offers two preferences, so your thermostat will either focus more on comfort and stay closer to your temperature settings or focus more on savings and veer a little further away from those settings when rates change.
Peak Relief is rolling out today, but it appears that the test is fairly small and only for "select customers" in California, Arizona, and Ontario, Canada, and again only if those customers are using time-of-use utility rates. However, the company has already said that it plans to roll out Peak Relief to a wide audience "early next year."

Ecobee's line of thermostats are part of over two dozen heating and cooling controllers compatible with Apple HomeKit, also including thermostats from Elgato, Honeywell, iDevices, and Netatmo. On Apple.com, customers can buy the Ecobee3 Lite Smart Thermostat, but the company's latest iteration is the Ecobee4, which includes built-in Alexa support.

Tag: Ecobee


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14 months ago
I've had an Ecobee 3 for about 6 months, and it's one of the few things in my life that I have absolutely no complaints about, only good things to say about it.

Good app, good HomeKit integration...

Nice.
Rating: 9 Votes
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14 months ago
Sweet. I'd love to try it.

They should also work with Apple on their iOS12 Home app integration. My thermostat and sensors often report "No response."

Like right now, for example.

Sometimes I can just go to the room where the thermostat is located and it will update, sometimes I have to launch the Ecobee app, and sometimes I need to completely restart. At least it doesn't prevent the thermostat from working.
Rating: 2 Votes
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14 months ago
We have two Ecobee 3 lites in our home, and they are fantastic. But, not sure what the "peak rate" feature will really do for us. I already have a "pre-cool" comfort setting set for the hour before out 4-9 "peak electricity" schedule starts, cooling the house down an extra 5 degrees so that while the AC is off for the next five hours it still stays comfortable inside, without paying the ~2x peak electricity rates. That flexibility in scheduling is exactly why we got the ecobees in the first place, and it more than paid for itself in savings last Summer.

That said, if it can determine how cool it needs to get that pre-peak hour to stay within bounds at the end of the peak hours, that would be an improvement. And of course not having to manage extra "comfort settings" would be an improvement as well.
Rating: 1 Votes
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14 months ago
I agree with the previous posters, my ecobee is wonderful.

We are doing some remodeling and had flooring installed. The installers left the door open a good part of the day, and I got an email from ecobee saying that something might be wrong because the thermostat had been calling for cooling and the temperature had gone up four degrees.

Plus, it also interfaces with my Alexa network. It's not a full blown implementation, but it can listen to commands and relay them or respond to queries just like the others.
Rating: 1 Votes
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14 months ago
The first home improvement project I did after buying my house in late April was replace an old Honeywell mercury blob/sliding lever style thermostat with an ecobee3. Biggest PITA ever...but at no fault of ecobee. It's a long story of how I had to replace the old wire by trying to fish a new one through a tiny hole drilled in concrete walls. Ugh.

Took a few hours (over the course of a few days), but finally got a new wire ran and I was in business. I haven't had one single problem with the thermostat since. The ecobee app is a different story though.
Rating: 1 Votes
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14 months ago

I’m still waiting for HomeKit to be compatible with nest..


Ditto... won’t happen.
Rating: 1 Votes
Avatar
14 months ago

Sweet. I'd love to try it.

They should also work with Apple on their iOS12 Home app integration. My thermostat and sensors often report "No response."

Like right now, for example.

Sometimes I can just go to the room where the thermostat is located and it will update, sometimes I have to launch the Ecobee app, and sometimes I need to completely restart. At least it doesn't prevent the thermostat from working.


My Ecobbee 3 has worked flawlessly. It is by far the best smart home product that I have bought. Two weeks ago it alerted by email me that I was having problems with my air conditioner before I was aware of it.

My only complaint is the same as yours with HomeKit. I strongly believe that it is a problem with Apple and not with Ecobee.

I wish Apple would get their act together and fix HomeKit. I am sticking with it but I’m somewhat disappointed. This includes locks, power outlets, lights, and other issues.
Rating: 1 Votes
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14 months ago
This just reaffirms my view that ecobee makes the best thermostats out there.
Rating: 1 Votes
Avatar
14 months ago

Sweet. I'd love to try it.

They should also work with Apple on their iOS12 Home app integration. My thermostat and sensors often report "No response."

Like right now, for example.

Sometimes I can just go to the room where the thermostat is located and it will update, sometimes I have to launch the Ecobee app, and sometimes I need to completely restart. At least it doesn't prevent the thermostat from working.


Same here for me with a IOS 11 and a ecobee 3. I find HomeKit unrealiable. Therefore for me it isn't a feature but an annoyance. But I love my ecobee otherwise.
Rating: 1 Votes
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14 months ago
I've been looking for something like this. Peak time rate in southern California is $.48 per kWh!
Rating: 1 Votes
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