New York - Best Buy has begun offering in
select New York City stores what it describes as the first web- and app-enabled
The thermostat, and an accompanying smart
outlet, both developed by energy-management vendor ThinkEco, will allow
consumers to control their ACs remotely via smartphone app or browser,
effectively transforming a stand-alone window unit into a smart, networked
The devices, or modlet, are part of a $70 SmartAC
kit created through a partnership with local utility Con Edison called CoolNYC.
The kit is exclusive to Best Buy, which will also offer Geek Squad installation
support, and features an incentivized program to help consumers manage
residential peak usage.
New York City purchasers will receive a $25
rebate upon setting up their SmartAC account, and an additional $25 "thank you"
gift at the end of the summer. The $25 thank you is a recurring gift that users
will receive each summer that they use the SmartAC thermostat and participate
in the cool NYC incentive program.
retail-utility partnerships are critical in the education of our consumers to
reduce energy consumption, said Kris Bowring, Best Buy's home and energy
management senior director. "We are excited to partner with ThinkEco and
CoolNYC, and credit them for being a leader in this type of market-based
program. The modlet SmartAC fits perfectly with our commitment to educate and
assist our customers' concerns about their energy use."
ThinkEco's modlet is a smart outlet that
wirelessly combines with the SmartAC thermostat. When used together, users can
remotely view their current room temperature, change the target temperature for
the room, or turn the AC unit on/off from any smartphone or browser. In
addition, users can preset on/off schedules for their room-air units, so that
their rooms are cooled only when needed, and the savings associated with those
schedules are tracked.
"The modlet SmartAC is the only user
installable demand-reduction product with a strong consumer and utility
benefit," said ThinkEco chief strategy officer Mei Shibata. "What this ease-of-use enables is an entirely
new way for leading retailers, like Best Buy, to play a pivotal role in the
distribution of utility-sponsored solutions by partnering with utilities and
In other Best Buy news, Geek Squad has
signed four service providers to its new third-party partner program.
Geek Squad announced the initiative
March as a way to extend its reach into the small-business market.
The new additions, Network Solutions
Provider, Carrier Access, Access Media 3 and Mach 4, "bring years of industry-leading
expertise and customer services to clients throughout the United States," said
Best Buy services VP Brian Hutto. "By teaming up with these well-established
partners, we're able to continue to expand our footprint in to the SMB [small-
to medium-sized business] space and help provide enterprise-level services at
price points that SMB's can afford."
As part of the agreement, the partners will
provide Geek Squad services for their own customers, including Geek Squad
office support, which features unlimited 24/7 access to Geek Squad staffers via
phone, online chat, remote and with an option to include on-site support. In
addition, they will sell PC, mobile, networking and infrastructure support
The service plans cover diagnostics and
repair, client and server administration, and network integration, including
network, firewall, VPN, and server support as well as data backup and
transfers, Best Buy said.
New York - Best Buy has begun offering in select New York City stores what it describes as the first web- and app-enabled AC thermostat.