EcoFactor, a Redwood City, CA-based startup that provides cloud-based energy management for home heating and cooling, today announced a partnership with Comcast to provide Xfinity Home customers with access to EcoFactor services. The deal marks a significant milestone for the six-year-old startup, in that it provides EcoFactor with validation from a major home services provider, and gives it potential access to the wide pool of Comcast subscribers.
Comcast’s Xfinity Home offering already provides subscribers with home security, remote management of lighting and thermostats, and, also announced today, carbon monoxide and water/flood sensors. Adding EcoFactor to the mix will also enable Xfinity Home users to reduce their energy expenditure and save money on home heating and cooling. EcoFactor CEO Roy Johnson said in an interview that home owners can see savings of 10 to 20 percent on energy costs using its system, and that’s assuming an already intelligently-managed cycle of simply turning heating or cooling on or off during periods of absence from the home. If people don’t already manage their climate control systems to some extent on their own they should see even greater savings, Johnson said.
EcoFactor works by adapting to a user’s home heating and cooling patterns, which it accomplishes by monitoring data and analyzing it via the company’s proprietary cloud-based software. It takes into account a wide range of data points to evaluate usage trends, including weather factors, the particular thermal profile of a user’s house, and manual input from residents. Unlike a solution like Nest or ecobee, EcoFactor is relatively hardware agnostic, though it does require an Internet-connected thermostat be used in order to send and receive the data it requires.
“You have remote control functionality where you can control the temperature from a browser or smartphone,” Johnson said. “But the more important thing for us is these deep analytics that we do that allow you to save on average 10 to 20 percent on your heating and air conditioning.” He stressed that EcoFactor’s value lies in its ability to perform advanced, sophisticated data modelling and generate ideal usage profiles on a per-user basis, as opposed to a product like Nest, which is essentially just a home electronic with a degree of onboard intelligence.
Comcast benefits by being able to add one more piece of the puzzle to its connected whole-home management product. The company will be rolling out the EcoFactor integration gradually, starting with a few select markets, though Johnson says he isn’t sure specifically where it’ll be deployed first as of yet.
EcoFactor co-founder and SVP of Products Scott Hublou emphasized that the value of this partnership is all about validating EcoFactor’s product and approach. “The company’s been around for about six years now, and we’ve been managing thermostats for about the last four and a half years,” he said. “We’ve been very diligent with our platform, diligent with our intellectual platform, and really now, we’re in our mass distribution phase. [The Comcast partnership] just reinforced the fact that now, we are the best of the best.”
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