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Project Launch: 12/01/2017

Partners: Whisker Labs, Honeywell

ComEd® and Nicor Gas collaborated to test an over-the-air deployed algorithm that used real-time weather data to convert connected thermostats to smart thermostats.


This pilot, a collaboration between ComEd and Nicor Gas, tested an over-the-air deployed algorithm that promised to convert a connected thermostat (from manufacturer Honeywell) to a smart thermostat. Whisker Labs leverages real-time weather data to update setback schedules and shorten run times, potentially presenting ComEd with a lower first-cost alternative to expensive smart thermostats. If the algorithm and advanced control being tested were successful, this system had potential to be expanded to other brands and types of thermostats, providing ComEd with a unique retrofit path toward smart thermostat customer adoption goals.

Results and Outcomes

Over a thousand residential participants used the deployed algorithm during the pilot period. The Navigant impact evaluation results were received in April 2019. The pilot demonstrated low savings potential; due to this and the assumed short measure life of such a service, the decision was made not to proceed. Additionally, shortly after the pilot launched, Google Nest launched the Nest-E, reducing the value of this concept as the incremental cost (particularly after incentives) made the Nest-E smart thermostat cost-competitive with a programmable Wi-Fi thermostat.