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Comcast expands Xfinity platform to cut home energy costs

Some might call it an act of desperation to retain customers, but Comcast has announced an expansion of its Xfinity Home Platform to address new areas of home energy savings, security and automation using broadband and cloud-based technologies.

The cable operator signed a deal with EcoFactor to launch a new service to help residential customers manage energy costs and lower them up to 30 percent. It will announce launch details and pricing for the EcoFactor-enabled service later this year.

The company also announced several new features for its Xfinity Home platform, including an indoor/outdoor camera with night vision, a carbon monoxide sensor, water/flood sensor for a basement or wash room and the ability to remotely control some in-wall lighting switches with the Xfinity Home app.

EcoFactor’s energy management system uses cloud-based software, which “learns” the heating and cooling patterns of a home and uses real-time weather data, the thermal characteristics of the house and the temperature preferences of the occupants to make real time adjustments to the thermostat. While the homeowner maintains full control over the thermostat, the system learns to adapt to user preferences to help reduce energy.

“Through our Xfinity Home service, we’ve created a broadband and cloud-based platform for security, remote home control and energy management,” said Mitch Bowling, senior VP and general manager of new business for Comcast Cable. “With EcoFactor, we see an opportunity to bring new and exciting technologies to our customers through an automatic energy management solution that works in real-time.”

EcoFactor also is working with Comcast to integrate its complete back-office solution, including training, support for on-boarding, installation and the reporting that provides customers with the details of their energy use.

Xfinity Home, part of Comcast’s cable service, is a broadband and cloud-based platform that provides home security, control and energy management features that allow customers to stay connected to their home and family through the use of an interactive web portal, mobile devices and the free Xfinity Home app.

In addition to 24/7 professional monitoring, the service offers an expanding suite of home control and remote energy management services that include lighting controls, digital thermostats, live video monitoring, custom text and e-mail alerts, remote arming and disarming capabilities and—coming soon—water and carbon monoxide sensors.