Canadian Company Squares Off Against Rivals Google & Honeywell in Smart Thermostat Market

Canadian Company Squares Off Against Rivals Google & Honeywell in Smart Thermostat Market
Canadian Company Squares Off Against Rivals Google & Honeywell in Smart Thermostat Market

Toronto, Ontario – Google has a voracious appetite for expanding their business model into new markets through both research & development at their facilities and via acquisitions. While this is good for consumers, their sheer size can crowd out competition which is less funded. Such is the case for hometown upstart Ecobee which was the first pioneer in the smart thermostat market. Five years ago, they announced to the world they had a smart thermostat product what Wi-Fi capable and could be controlled via a smartphone app.

Ecobee’s first generation product carried a $385 price tag, but with growth in the market the price was expected to come down. A former Apple employee behind the iPod creation began his own company called Nest Labs which began to compete with Ecobee. Nest Labs has put out some good products providing stiff competition for Ecobee, and the competition has become tougher. Earlier this year, Google acquired Nest Labs in a bid to muscle their way into greater market share. In addition, Honeywell, an American multinational conglomerate on Fortune’s list of top 100 companies, now has a smart thermostat offering of their own.

So how is the small Toronto-based upstart faring against the likes of Google and Honeywell? They believe the answer is: very well. Ecobee views the competition as bringing increased attention to the home automation market which can only benefit their product sales. Their latest offering, the Ecobee3 has a design which is a departure from that of their rivals. Rather than stick with a circular design, they have focused on a form factor that is almost square-shaped. They believe consumers will find the design better matches with their home decor.

Ecobee co-CEO Stuart Lombard tells CBC, being the small guys isn’t always a bad thing.

“When Nest launched in 2010, maybe 18 months after we launched, it brought a lot of buzz to the category. So Nest entering into the market has actually been a great boon to our business because people now understand what WiFi-connected thermostats are,” Lombard says.

“If you’re the only person in the market, odds are no one’s talking about it. The more people that get involved in the market, the more dynamic the market is, the bigger the market is, and the more opportunity there is.

“So while Nest is obviously a formidable competitor, as is Honeywell, the market is growing at a fantastic rate.”

The unit costs $249 and includes one sensor. The sensor is the point which drives the operation of the thermostat. A user may place the sensor in the master bedroom to ensure the target temperature in that room is always at a specific level. Additional sensors can be purchased in a two-pack for $79.


Sean is a London (Ontario) based writer, and has been writing full-time for eCanadaNow since May of 2005, covering Canadian topics and world issues. Since 2009, Sean has been the lead editor for eCanadaNow. Prior to his work writing and editing for the eCanadaNow, he worked as a freelancer for several Canadian newspapers.. You can contact Sean at {Sean at] Google

3 thoughts on “Canadian Company Squares Off Against Rivals Google & Honeywell in Smart Thermostat Market

  1. As a home owner, I generally frown on these kinds of gadgets, but I still wish our home grown startup Ecobee the best of luck.

  2. Just installed the Ecobee3 in my home and have already started to notice that my furnace burner run time is half as compared to a Honeywell smart thermostat it replaced.

  3. This doesn’t exactly sound revolutionary, it sounds like a zoning system without the zone dampers. It would be exactly the same if you put the temperature up in the room with the thermostat a couple of degrees to attain a specific temp in another room. That’s exactly what will happen if you ask for a certain temp in a room with poor airflow. The other rooms will get very hot. This sounds like a poor solution to the problem. A better solution would be to adjust the damper in the air supply registers to reduce airflow to rooms that are warmer than others.

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