Home Automation Opinion

Ecobee Forces Customers To Enable New Eco+ Features

Eco+ savings
The Ecobee app forces thermostat customers to enable new Eco+ features that can change thermostat operation and temperature settings. But you can disable Eco+.

For months, we’ve been hearing about Ecobee’s new Eco+ (stylized as eco+) features to save energy and money with your Ecobee thermostat. Eco+ bundles some existing thermostat settings with new features that are designed to optimize your energy consumption.

Ecobee Forces Customers To Enable New Eco+ Features

The folks at Ecobee want you to use Eco+. They really want you to use it. They want you to use it so much that when you open your Ecobee app, they’ll force you to enable it. An Eco+ onboarding workflow steps you through multiple information panels and a “savings preference” panel. You cannot skip, close, or defer this process. You must enable Eco+, whether you want to or not. Whether this is a good time for you to learn and think about it or not (1:47 a.m. for me was not). There’s no way to get around it.

This is irresponsible product experience design.

Eco+ changes how your thermostat works to help you save money and energy. Arguably, this is a good thing. Many customers may want this. Some may not. If you don’t want to use Ecobee’s new Eco+ features, even though you were required to enable them, you can go into your thermostat’s settings to disable them.

How To Disable Eco+

The Eco+ settings are pretty easy to find in the app because they’re at the top of the thermostat menu. We mentioned that Ecobee really wants you to use Eco+, right? The Eco+ settings are above the settings to change your HVAC mode or turn on your fan. They’re above your sensor settings. They’re above schedules, comfort settings, and everything else. Ecobee really wants you to use Eco+.

Ecobee Forces Customers To Enable New Eco+ Features

To disable Eco+ settings, select Eco+, then select each of the four options you want to disable. Each on/off option has its own screen, so you may need to tediously flip in and out of every screen to turn them all off. Note that Smart Home & Away, the legacy feature that adjusts your thermostat based on occupancy, is now part of Eco+. If you were using that before, you can keep that enabled.

If you don’t want to use any of these features, including Smart Home & Away, you can disable Eco+ entirely by tapping the current setting (in green) at the top of the Eco+ screen and changing it to Disable indefinitely. The implied guilt is likely intentional. Ecobee really wants you to use Eco+.

Ecobee Forces Customers To Enable New Eco+ Features

When asked on Twitter about the mandatory settings, an Ecobee representative noted that customers can disable them:

When further pressed about whether it was Ecobee’s intent to force customers to enable this, Ecobee provided this carefully worded response:

Ecobee really wants you to use Eco+. But you can decide for yourself. You can disable it.