Honeywell tops Navigant assessment of smart thermostat makers

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According to a new leaderboard report from Navigant Research, Honeywell leads the smart thermostat market in terms of strategy and execution.

Smart thermostats have varying degrees of functionality for controlling temperature, automation, remote access, learning, and connectivity to home area networks, utility pricing signals (e.g., time-of-use and demand response) and cloud-based services.

These devices have gained traction in North America and Western Europe, and steady growth for the smart thermostat market — driven by rising energy costs, increased environmental awareness, regulatory pressure to encourage energy efficiency, and more effective marketing programs — is expected through 2020.

“Smart thermostats appeal to different customer segments, not just homeowners,” says Neil Strother, senior research analyst with Navigant Research. “Utilities, residential builders, and heating, ventilating, and air conditioning system installers can also be key decision makers in the value chain. Given this dynamic, thermostat manufacturers have developed various strategies aimed at attracting the segment — or segments — they view as most critical to their success.”

Honeywell emerged as the sole 'eader in this report due to its ability to react to challenger Nest and to capitalize on its dominant brand to its advantage. Five other companies, led by Nest, are ranked as contenders, and five vendors are listed as challengers.

In 2013, responding to the market entrance of Nest thermostats in late 2011, Honeywell launched its Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat, which combines Honeywell’s Smart Response technology with a user-friendly interface and simple access through the Total Connect Comfort mobile application.

Nest, founded by a pair of former Apple executives, is a recent entrant into the smart thermostat market, but its model has been hailed as a reinvention of the device because of its bold aesthetic and technological innovations in analytics and learning capabilities.

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