BOULDER, COLO. — Honeywell has emerged as the leader in terms of strategy and execution in the smart thermostat market, according to a new study by Navigant Research here.

Honeywell emerged as the sole Leader in this report due to its ability to react to challenger Nest and to capitalize on its dominant brand to its advantage.

In 2013, responding to the market entrance of Nest thermostats in late 2011, Honeywell launched its Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat, which combines Honeywell’s Smart Response technology with a user-friendly interface and simple access through the Total Connect Comfort mobile application. Nest, founded by a pair of former Apple executives, is a recent entrant into the smart thermostat market, but its model has been hailed as a reinvention of the device because of its bold aesthetic and technological innovations in analytics and learning capabilities. 

Five other companies, led by Nest, are ranked as Contenders, including Carrier, Trane, ecobee, and Energate. Five vendors are listed as Challengers.

Smart thermostats have varying degrees of functionality for controlling temperature, automation, remote access, learning, and connectivity to home area networks, utility pricing signals (e.g., time-of-use and demand response), and cloud-based services. The devices have gained traction in North America and Western Europe, and steady growth for the smart thermostat market — driven by rising energy costs, increased environmental awareness, regulatory pressure to encourage energy efficiency, and more effective marketing programs — is expected through 2020. 

“Smart thermostats appeal to different customer segments, not just homeowners,” says Neil Strother, senior research analyst with Navigant Research. “Utilities, residential builders, and heating, ventilating, and air conditioning system installers can also be key decision makers in the value chain. Given this dynamic, thermostat manufacturers have developed various strategies aimed at attracting the segment — or segments — they view as most critical to their success.”

The report, “Navigant Research Leaderboard Report Smart Thermostats,” examines the strategy and execution of 11 smart thermostat manufacturers that are active in the global smart thermostat market and rates them on 12 criteria. Using Navigant Research’s proprietary Leaderboard methodology, vendors are profiled, rated, and ranked with the goal of providing industry participants with an objective assessment of these companies’ relative strengths and weaknesses in the global smart thermostat market. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the Navigant Research website.

Navigant Research, the dedicated research arm of Navigant, provides market research and benchmarking services for rapidly changing and often highly regulated industries. In the energy sector, Navigant Research focuses on in-depth analysis and reporting about global clean technology markets. Additional information is available at