ecobee Citizen

A Letter from Our CEO: Our Future with Generac

An optimistic look at the future of ecobee and our planet.

by ecobee on 01/10/2022 in Better Planet

4 min read

ecobee's visionary Founder and CEO Stuart Lombard poses for a photograph in the company's offices on Toronto's lakefront (pictured in background).

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Dear ecobee SmartOwners,

As you may have seen in the news, we ended 2021 on a high note, announcing our acquisition by Generac, a leading global designer and manufacturer of energy technology solutions and other power products. We are thrilled to join the Generac family.

Whether you are a long-time or first-time customer, thank you for putting your trust in ecobee and helping us achieve this milestone. We think of ourselves as guests in your homes, and we are honoured to have been invited into millions of them. We wouldn’t be here without you.

I started ecobee nearly 15 years ago with John Metselaar and Mark Malchiondo with the mission to improve everyday life while creating a more sustainable world. After discovering that heating and cooling make up 40% to 60% of home energy use, I attempted to program my own thermostat to conserve energy while away on vacation. When my family returned home to Toronto to a shockingly cold house, I began to envision a better efficiency solution that could conserve energy without compromising comfort.

Since our team launched the world’s first smart thermostat in 2009, ecobee customers across North America have saved more than 20 TWh of energy, which is the equivalent of saving enough energy to take all the homes in Los Angeles off the grid for a year. And that impact continues to grow every day.

I’d be lying if I said every day was easy. There have been plenty of tough days, especially in the early start-up years when so many people told me to give up. But all those challenges have been worth it to get us to this point, to join a world-class company like Generac.

ecobee's CEO Stuart Lombard watches as ecobee technician works on ecobee thermostat in the hardware lab at ecobee headquarters in Toronto.

And we want to assure you that our commitment to sustainability, innovation, and data privacy remain the same.

In fact, a key part of our decision to join Generac is a shared vision to create a sustainable and cleaner energy future. Aaron Jagdfeld, Generac’s CEO, and I both believe that by combining ecobee’s innovative technologies with Generac’s power generation, energy storage, and energy management devices, we can create a clean, efficient, and reliable home energy ecosystem. This ecosystem will not only save homeowners money but will also help grid operators meet the challenges of an electrical grid under enormous stress by providing solutions to better balance supply and demand.

One of our core aspirations at ecobee is to grow our impact through scale. By joining Generac, we plan to significantly accelerate our roadmap. Specifically, we are excited about opportunities linked to Generac's investments in solar inverters, battery storage, hot water tank control, and grid services that will allow us to accelerate our vision for the net-zero home of the future.

There are two important components to achieving our vision of the net-zero home: the energy a home creates and generates and the energy a home uses.

Generating solar and wind power is the first half of the equation, but solar and wind are unfortunately inconsistent. The sun doesn’t shine, and the wind doesn’t blow, all the time. You can manage that variability with battery storage, which Generac offers. Batteries absorb power, store it, and discharge it later when it is needed.

You can also control variability with intelligent devices, like ecobee’s, that are aware of what is happening on the grid, including the carbon content of the energy, and make smart choices to consume power when it is cleaner and less expensive. We believe it is this combination of managing supply and demand that will have a significant positive impact to achieve that net-zero home at a lower cost.

The Generac and ecobee home of the future will be comfortable, resilient, efficient, and ultimately, net zero.

To our Canadian customers, our Toronto headquarters isn’t going anywhere. We are committed to not only maintaining the Toronto office, but significantly growing our team. We also have a beautiful riverside office in Leeds, UK, and many remote U.S.-based employees. If you want to be a part of our exciting future, check out our open roles.

As we close the chapter on another difficult year for many, and begin a new year, I invite you to look ahead to the future with optimism. We have all faced, and will continue to face, many challenges, but I strongly believe there is no challenge human empathy and ingenuity can’t solve. With resolve, hard work, and collaboration, we can create solutions for a better tomorrow. If you’re in need of some optimism, I invite you to read our latest blog post, Top 10 Reasons to Have Hope for the Future in 2022.

The best is yet to come!

Stuart Lombard

Founder and CEO, ecobee

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