Comcast is adding smart thermostat and energy efficiency software developed by startup EcoFactor to its Xfinity Home platform, a security and home surveillance service unveiled last summer by the cable company.
Under an agreement announced today, Comcast will work with the startup to integrate an EcoFactor-enabled thermostat with Xfinity Home, a 24/7 home security and monitoring service available over cable company's wired network. Xfinity customers also can stay connected and check in on their home via a smartphone app; receive texts or email alerts; and remotely access their system to change settings.
The deal not only gives Comcast's Xfinity customers more energy-related features, it marks EcoFactor first foray into direct consumer services. Until now, EcoFactor has primarily worked with utilities. EcoFactor's cloud-based software platform uses a home's broadband service to connect -- and gather data from -- a communicating thermostat to automatically customize the heating and cooling of homes. It also use real-time weather data to adapt to changing condition; learns the characteristics of the home as well as the patterns and preferences of residents.
In all, EcoFactor's energy management engine collects, stores and processes 24,000 points of data from the home, local weather stations and even regional building codes every day. The end-game is optimized energy use, which means less waste and lower electric bills. EcoFactor estimates its service can help lower energy use and the cost to heat and cool a home between 10 percent and 30 percent. And all without using a smart meter or other expensive hardware.
Comcast also is adding four new features to its Xfinity Home service, including an indoor/outdoor camera with night vision, a carbon monoxide sensor, water/flood sensor for a basement or wash room and some in-wall lighting switches that can be remotely controlled via an app, according to blog post today.