The Quickest Way To Begin Greening Your House

Quick – What’s the easiest way to reduce your energy use and costs in your home? Better Insulation, perhaps? Solar panels on the roof? Microturbine on the lawn? All valid ways, but there’s an even more direct path. Your thermostat. If it’s more then an orange pointer to a temperature, in other words programmable, you have the power to make significant changes in your energy footprint.

And yet you don’t. Why?

For many, it’s just too complex, intimidating, and just not a regular part of their routine. It’s this that the people at EcoBee sought to address in creating their new device, released last week. One could ask, what is it, beyond being a fancy thermostat control? It’s comfort, ease, and accessibility. Like the iPhone, the interface was carefully thought out and tested to be simple, effective, and most importantly, used.

In a nod to modern day life that revolves around the computer, it can be controlled by your computer via the wifi network on a personalized web portal. All you need do is tell it what temperature you want when, and it calculates how best to achieve it. And in an area I’m sure 95% of you overlook, you can set it to remind you to change your furnace, humidifier, and ventilator filters, and get your equipment serviced.

EcoBee helps users have a more fine grained awareness of their energy usage, showing current real time, what it’s been today, what it was yesterday, and how that compares to the average, best, and worst days. Like cars that show real time mileage, being able to see just how much juice you’re using would for many I imagine be incentive to modify your energy use and what other methods you use to  achieve optimum temperature in your house.

Speaking of, with your greater awareness may come a desire to know more, do more, and share more. Ecobee has created an online community where other owners can gather to share tips, experiences, and resources to live a more sustainable life.

Suddenly that copper colored plastic circle and temperature dial on your wall is looking a little scared. Recycle it well, won’t you?

Readers: What are some other ways you’ve found to easily and smartly green your house? Chime in, below.

Additional Reading:

Bad News For Green Builders? Not So Fast: Ecopreneurist

A Financial Stimulus Package That Pays For Your Photovoltaic System? : Green Building Elements

Weekend Review: The Renewable Energy Handbook and Smart Power : Green Building Elements

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About the Author

Paul Smith is a sustainable business innovator, the founder of GreenSmith Consulting, and has an MBA in Sustainable Management from Presidio School of Management in San Francisco. He creates interest in, conversations around, and business for green (and greening) companies, via social media. Who he has and wants to work with includes consumer, media, clean tech, NGOs, social ventures, and museums. For more on GreenSmith Consulting, see He also writes for Triple Pundit