Vancouver Smart Thermostat Rebate Program

2015 – 2016

In 2015 the City of Vancouver, in partnership with Vancity, launched a pilot program to learn what energy and cost savings could be achieved in single family, duplex, and townhomes by using a smart thermostat. City Green Solutions was responsible for the design and development of this Smart Thermostat Pilot Project, which actively promoted and demonstrated the quantifiable energy-efficiency and carbon reduction benefits associated with energy management and smart controls.

The Smart Thermostat Pilot Program invited single family home owners in Vancouver to install a Nest, Honeywell Lyric, or Ecobee3 smart thermostat, provide energy data, and in exchange receive a $125 rebate for the purchase of their thermostat. Qualified applicants were asked to submit their utility data for the previous year and during the pilot, which ran until December 2016. Participants were also asked to complete a couple of online surveys.

The pilot, which was aligned with Vancouver’s Greenest City Action Plan, was intended to help the City understand what energy and greenhouse gas savings smart thermostats can achieve, what limits peoples’ interest in the technology, and what types of homes are best suited to realize the benefits of smart thermostats.

How smart thermostats work: Smart thermostats are an emerging technology that make it easier for home owners to manage their home’s energy consumption and energy costs. Recent research studies in the US, led by utilities, non-profits, and technology manufacturers, have found that smart thermostats may provide significant annual energy savings. For example, these thermostats can ‘learn’ when you typically leave the house for work and dial down heating, and then spring back into action in just enough time to make the house nice and toasty (or cool and comfortable, depending on the season) by the time you get home.