Smart thermostats have become increasingly popular ever since 2007 when the first truly “smart” thermostat was introduced by Ecobee. It revolutionized the thermostat world by offering connectivity through Wi-Fi. Nest Learning Thermostat followed a few years later, and today there are several choices on the market.
These smart devices can help make a big difference in combatting climate change. Once installed in a home, they learn over time what our patterns of living are and can adjust the heating and cooling to more closely match our schedules. They can also adjust the timing to reduce energy use at peak times of consumption, pricing, and carbon emissions. Reducing this energy use will cut down on greenhouse gas emissions from the home, as well as from the power plants that supply the electricity.
According to Project Drawdown, “We project that smart thermostats could grow from 3% to 58-63% of households with internet access by 2050. In this scenario, 1,453 to 1,589 million homes would have them. Reduced energy use could avoid 7.0-7.4 gigatons of carbon dioxide emissions for an investment of $155-172 billion. Return on investment is high: smart thermostats can save their owners $1.8-2.1 trillion on utility bills over the lifetime of the unit.”
Introduced in 2011, Nest has been saving on heating and cooling bills for over 11,000,000 home owners. The device can sense when people are in a room and using geofencing it can turn off and on when you leave and return to the house.
Nest shows you how much energy you use every day in Energy History and every month in your Home Report. So you can see when you use more energy, like on weekends or Monday nights, and how to use less.
It is time to get smart about energy efficiency because personal decisions can make a big impact on our climate.
In 1620, Dutch innovator Cornelis Drebbel invented a chicken incubator and a mercury thermostat which automatically kept it stable at a constant temperature, one of the first recorded feedback-controlled devices. He also developed and demonstrated a working air conditioning system, as well as inventing a working thermometer and the first navigable submarine. And he developed a harpsichord that played on solar energy.