Honeywell and Nest lead the smart thermostat vendor market in terms of strategy and execution, according to a new Leaderboard Report from Navigant Research. Honeywell maintained leadership due to its existing smart/connected thermostat products and programs and its aggressive pursuit of the higher-end smart thermostat segment. Nest has gained market share by seeking out collaborations with other vendors and by expanding its global marketing initiatives.
The report examines the strategy and execution of 12 smart thermostat manufacturers and software providers that are active in the global smart thermostat market and rates them on 12 criteria. Schneider, EnergyHub, ecobee, Comverge, Emerson and EcoFactor landed in the Contenders category due to relatively strong product strategy, program success and distribution. The four companies in the Challengers category — Carrier, Energate, tado and RTA — have some weaknesses in terms of either strategy or execution, but with the right steps, could move into contender or leader positions.
The market for communicating and smart thermostats has been extremely active since 2013, Navigant says. The technology was introduced in the late 2000s and has since evolved through an early technology adoption phase into a stable and growing market. The year 2015 has seen significant activity in the form of partnerships, international expansion, technological growth and more conclusive evidence of cost-effectiveness.
Heightened awareness of residential energy management and growing interest in particular devices, such as the Nest and ecobee smart thermostats, have fueled an end-consumer-based spike in the smart thermostats market, according to the report. Newer players, such as tado, are giving longtime vendors, such as Honeywell and Carrier, additional competition by marketing direct to consumers, attracting early adopters and a few mainstream customers.
Honeywell was the sole member of the Leader category in Navigant’s 2013 Leaderboard Report for smart thermostat vendors.