The Ontario government will install a smart thermostat in your home to fight climate change [Update]

The initiative is part of the government’s Green Ontario Fund


  • FTR_Part_deux

    Is there a catch? When the Gov’t announces something free, I get a bit hesitant.

    • Patrick Beliveau

      it takes about 2 hours of your time. that’s the ‘catch’ I guess. It’s a non-profit that works with the government, but they don’t just hand over a new smart thermostat. you have to do a home energy review.

    • FTR_Part_deux

      Thx for the insight. As they say, if it’s too good to be true…Paying out of your own pocket sounds more appealing than letting the Gov’t into your home to get something free.

    • vn33

      You’re not really missing out by not being in the program!

    • FTR_Part_deux

      TRue! I think a basic programmable thermostat should work just as fine. I mean, you only set it once and that’s it. Don’t need to tinker with it in your mobile device.

    • vn33

      Exactly! I just got myself a simple thermostat, although it is wireless connected. However, the only time I use it is to pre-heat (or pre-coll) the house as I come home from vacation.

    • Les

      The catch with the older ‘peaksaver’ program was that they installed the cheapest, nastiest remote-controlled thermostat ever. It would fail shortly, they wouldn’t replace it, and they would keep cashing government cheques, even though they we not providing any service.

      Sweet gig, from their point of view. My furnace guy told me he had replaced dozens of faulty peaksaver ‘stats. Peaksaver cynically kept releasing PR about how they were saving the planet, even though they knew full-well that they were just creating more landfill.

    • I’ve had a Peak Saver ‘stat ever since the program was started. I havn’t had any problems but honestly, I don’t know how much were saving.

    • vn33

      I was on this PeakSaver program in my previous home. The thermostat was just a basic Honeywell programmable, but connected to the power supplier. You can connect to and control it through a web portal. However, the interface is so clunky and outdated.

    • Les

      Ours was not Honeywell. They must have changed suppliers at some point.

    • FTR_Part_deux

      Maybe it’s time to change careers to be a HVAC specialist. It’s unfortunate that we really can’t trust the gov’t when they offer something for free. Sooner or later, we will pay for it.

  • Really bothers me when the government does not give me a rebate for buying one but then gives out free ones to other people. All this does is teach people to not do anything and wait because you’ll get something for free if it’s important enough. Were is my rebate for purchasing a smart thermostat 3 years ago?

    • heynow00

      Ok you give back your energy savings over the last 3 years and the cost of your device and the government will book an appointment for you probably about a year from now to come install their (very basic I’m.sure) smart thermostat that may not work with your smart ecosystem.

    • Still need to give rebates to people that actually paid for them, you cannot just give some people stuff and not others. these are my tax dollars and if they are doing this program they need to make it across the board. Give a $100-$200 rebate to those that have been doing the right thing and saved the government more money from not having to send out a tech for 2 hours and cost of the device which would be close to $400 value. Its the principal of the argument that some people get a hand up and others don’t because cared about the environment.. It punishing the good people and rewarding the people that don’t care about the environment.

    • Stephen Melissis

      Nobody forced you to buy it though, you’re not getting punished in fact you’re not getting affected at all

    • I know I am not being punished per say but I am also not being rewarded for it either, those that decided to not care are rewarded.

      If everyone at work got a bonus for doing nothing but their normal day to day job no extra effort but 3 years ago you started to work harder and work twice as hard as those people to get your bonus early then them. Sure you got the bonus 3 years before them and are 3 years ahead of them in bonuses but they did nothing to get theirs. Not exactly a punishment but its also a slap in the face to those that did do their jobs to get theirs.. all it does is teach you not to care and you’ll get the hand out too!

  • Balls O’Steele

    What model thermostat do they install? Is it wifi enabled? Can I control it remotely with an app?

    • vn33

      Was on this program, and mine was a basic Honeywell programmable. You can connect to it and control it through a web portal, or a third-party App (sorry, forgot what it was). The web interface/App control is probably designed to discourage you to do anything to your setting. I cancelled my account and returned the thermostat when I moved.

    • You choose between 3 (Nest, Ecobee, Honeywell). I know Nest has an app for sure, I’m almost positive Ecobee does, and not certain abt Honeywell offering, but I’d certainly hope so.

  • AppleBerrySandwich

    Wow – more tax dollars down the drain for things that will do zero for climate change.

    Sadly – Already have an Ecobee. For those looking >> Ecobee is the best.

  • Brutus974

    Does it come with a free speaker to receive daily government approved global warming prevention tips?

    • Canadiana Jones

      The comment of the day!

  • redc1c4

    a “smart” thermostat so someone can hack in during a blizzard, fry everything, and leave the whole province to freeze to death.

    THAT will certainly reduce your “carbon footprint” ll right…

    utter nonsense & a total waste of $$$ too.

    • Think what you want but based on previous years i have saved over $100 a year by using auto away and being more contentious of temps I was setting it to for my nest if it didn’t have a leaf. Nest puts a leaf on settings so you know its a economical setting.

      SO if you don’t want money in your pocket that’s up to you care about the earth or not ill take the 100 please!

    • Canadiana Jones

      You could achieve that with $40 7-day programmable thermostat and save even MORE MONEY without being exposed to the likes of Google and hackers. All you’re doing is falling victim of another marketing ploy designed for you to spend more.

    • @Unorthodox:disqus here we go.. the aliens are coming and hackers are going to get me.. Seriously this argument is so old and outdated. I guess we better shut down Amazon and eBay and stop shopping online also because someone might get your CC information or sell your buying preferences!!! The benefits outweigh the risks. I save money by having my thermostat and if that means someone knows my energy usages and sells it, I’m okay with that, if that means someone could somehow hack my Wifi and get access to my smart device well worse case I disconnect it from WiFi.

      Also your 7 day programmable thermostat does not have wifi for changing settings when away on vacation and you forgot to program it. It does not have the ability to talk to your Nest thermostats to detect a fire or carbon monoxide leak and turn off the furnace to save your families life and call a family member (ITTT)! And it does not have auto away so on a Saturday you go to the beach it sets your house to auto away when it notices no one is around and saves you that AC for the day. It all adds up and I see it on my bill. I pay ~$68 CDN a month for hydro for a semi detached ~2000 square feet house with 2 adults and 2 kids living there. All my lights are smart and LED. So what is your bill per month??

      I had a 7 day programmable thermostat when i moved into my place and it saved me nothing my bills were about ~$90-$100 a month when I fist got my place. With all this hackable technology I go to bed now and i have a GE smart light switch in my bedroom connected to a SmartThings hub, I press and hold down on the light switch for 2 seconds and it knows the house is going to sleep, it changes the thermostat, turns off all my lights and in the morning when I get up I do the opposite i press and hold up and it does my morning routine, turn thermostat back to normal settings turn bathroom light on. Please again explain to me how this is a bad thing? Oh and when I leave the house I press and hold the outside lights switch down and all the light in the house turn off

      So you keep your $40 programmable thermostat and ill keep saving my money .. this is not marketing BS it is actually a way to save money, so again your choice if you don’t want to save money but ill keep my money in my pocket and do less work to keep it there.

    • Canadiana Jones

      I stopped reading at “forgot to change”. Your further arguments are useless if you can’t memorize essential things. Must be all those Facebook posts and Twitter twits that prevent you from memorizing to flush the toilet and wash your hands before meal.

    • No one is forcing you to not save money.. your choice.. have a good day

    • Canadiana Jones

      Thank you good Sir. Same to you, too! :).

  • jbspry

    And, no doubt, this thermostat sends information on usage to some central bureaucratic entity which monitors each household’s consumption patterns and, perhaps in a year or two, will “offer” to regulate household energy use remotely as part of a government program to become compliant with the Paris Accord by controlling every household in the nation.

    What could go wrong?

  • leDerp

    To all the tinfoil hat commenters… Facebook, google, your smartphone etc are much scarier in terms of data mining compared to the à smart thermostat. The govt already knows how much electricity you’re using and Enbridge already knows how much gas you use… The thermostat regulates the temp in your house… On and off switch for your a/c and furnace. I doubt that they’re trying to data mine from that. If anything, they’re trying to get gas consumption down so they call sell it to our neighbours.
    And if that measure brings ours bills down, then why should we be complaining

    • FTR_Part_deux

      “Sometimes I like to play a little game and think of the worst case scenario…”

    • leDerp

      Alright who are we killing now?