Ecobee is shutting down some of its very first products


The first Ecobee Thermostat, may it rest in peace.
Enlarge / The first Ecobee Thermostat, may it rest in peace.

Ecobee

Ecobee is killing off some of its oldest thermostats. The “Ecobee Smart Thermostat” (Model # : EB-STAT-02) and the Ecobee Energy Management System (EMS) business thermostat (Model #: EB-EMS-02) are losing web access on July 31, 2024. Every Ecobee device has nearly the same name, but these are older devices. Ecobee says these will still function as local thermostats after the shutdown, but “any features requiring connectivity to the Ecobee servers, such as control from the Ecobee Web Portal, weather information, integrations etc, will no longer function.”

The EB-STAT-02 was “the world’s first Wi-Fi enabled thermostat” when it launched in 2008, and sales ended in 2013. Unlike the current Ecobees, this is a white rectangle that connected to a giant “equipment interface module” box you needed to hide in your HVAC system somewhere. The wall-mounted controller used an old-even-in-2009 resistive touchscreen, was an inch thick, and had a colorful interface that looked a lot like early versions of iOS. Most of the basics were here though, with an app that mimicked the wall controller interface, over-the-Internet control, a web portal, and access to lots of data. The EB-EMS-02 launched two years later as a commercial version of the Stat 02 and needed a subscription fee to work.

As you’d expect from an old Internet-connected device, the Wi-Fi support of the Stat 02 is pretty bad nowadays. According to Ecobee’s support page, it only supported 802.11b/g for Wi-Fi (that would be “Wi-Fi 3” under the current naming scheme). Encryption went up to WPA2, and even with firmware updates, you have to start questioning the security of a 16-year-old Internet-connected device. Not relying on the cloud would be nice, but at some point, you just have to throw this stuff out.

The Verge spoke to Ecobee’s VP of product design, Bryan Hurren, who said that other legacy Ecobee products will keep running for the foreseeable future. Old Ecobees only became recognizable to current customers with the 2014 Ecobee3 line, but even the product before that, the 2012 “Ecobee Smart SI,” is going to keep running for now. If we retcon all the names, the Smart SI would have been the “Ecobee2,” and the Stat 02 would be the “Ecobee1.”

As frequent complainers when smart home companies do shutdowns the wrong way, we have to give credit where it’s due. It’s commendable that Ecobee has kept this dinosaur running for 16 years, and it’s the kind of post-launch support that should make people feel comfortable buying from Ecobee in the future. I feel like most people would be satisfied with a 16-year runtime for most of their connected devices, but Ecobee is apparently still offering a discount to “affected” customers. The support page only says to “contact Ecobee support for assistance regarding eligibility for a discount on a new thermostat,” but Hurren told The Verge the company is offering a 30 percent discount on new products, valid for up to 15 thermostats. If you’re still using your 16-year-old email address from when you signed up, you should have been emailed already.



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