Netatmo “? The acquisition by Google Nest I am very doubtful”

Thursday 25 September, Netamo held a press conference in Paris, with its thermostat as flagship. Yet a known product, but an opportunity to discuss, to clarify, to introduce new features and provide examples of the success of the unit.

This is Fred Potter, CEO and co-founder of the company that inspired Netatmo the press briefing of the day centered around the brand thermostats.

New features

Besides the desire to talk a little more talk about Netatmo, the brand wanted to present “two new features added by software update” to the company’s thermostat. Henceforth, it will benefit from BEE (Balance of Energy Conservation) to which users will have access each month. This is a detailed account of the available consumption by turning the smartphone screen, on which the recommendations are added to help further optimize its consumption.

The second feature is named Auto-Adapt. Based on the insulation of the dwelling and the outdoor temperature, the thermostat is able to determine automatically and only the time to reach the temperature determined by the user. So a tool to make the product more “intelligent”.

Finally a welcome competition

If the company’s director said he was “very skeptical” about the takeover of Nest by Google, it’s mostly duty. Indeed, competition is obviously welcome to Netatmo, which takes advantage of the media coverage of Nest also make its product and whether Nest sudden popularity has changed something for Netatmo Fred Potter says ” sales have never worn as well. ” He also explained that “the demand for connected thermostats is present”, although this is not yet a need. This is against the initial results, the first real make savings that will make the basic product, almost, within households. And to illustrate this theory, Netatmo presented examples – it has to be authentic – homes that achieve significant energy savings through this device.

Indeed, when a conventional thermostat is difficult to adjust, that of Netatmo (and its competitors) is controlled with the fingertips via a smartphone. When most households leave turn the heaters the day, even in the absence of people, it will launch the radiators before arriving home.

A different model Nest

“We, we do not think we can rely on the presence of a person in the room to manage the temperature”, says the director when asked the question of the difference between the operation of the Nest and this one. The man also relies on a concrete example and explained that in Europe, the habit is to have “a thermostat for the whole house while the United States has usually there a room thermostat “. If one relies on this reasoning, the presence detector highlighted by Nest is not really relevant in a home of this type. Fred Potter concedes that “models are available in the US and work very well”, which partly explains Netatmo there is not yet deployed its thermostat while its weather station there knows a good success.

A delicate French market

Unfortunately for Netatmo, the French market is delicate and presents itself as a European exception. In the hex, “over 40% of households heat with electricity” – and the connected thermostat is not compatible with the installations of this type – whereas this percentage is less than 10% in other markets targeted by the company in Europe.

However, the French market remains a primary objective for Netatmo, and the thermostat of the firm is now available at major retailers as well as in the energy sector professionals. You can find the product at FNAC, but Leroy Merlin, Castorama, Boulanger, Auchan or Amazon (179 euros). The professional circuit is also important for Netatmo including CHAM, a subsidiary of EDF, which is specialized in the maintenance and repair of heating, and can offer its customers the Netatmo solution.

Anyway, Netatmo now dealing with a tighter competition but in all cases achieved its goal by being profitable in 2013 and planning to be in 2014.