Alarm.com: New Smart Schedule smart for dealers

New feature matches home activity to thermostat schedules and makes customers ‘stickier’
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Monday, April 2, 2012

VIENNA, Va.—Alarm.com has added a new feature to its emPower home automation and energy management platform, one that it says makes homeowners even more invested in their security systems because it allows them to use data the security systems collect to better program their thermostats to save energy and money.

Alarm.com, a provider of interactive security systems based here, recently announced the release of its Smart Schedule Activity Patterns and was promoting the new feature at the ISC West show last week in Las Vegas.

Jay Kenny, VP of marketing for Alarm.com, said dealers piloted Smart Schedule early this year with several hundred customers. He told Security Systems News that it will enable security dealers to take advantage of consumers’ growing interest in the energy space.

Because Smart Schedule increases customers’ interactivity with their security systems, it helps make them “stickier,” he said.

Among those selling the feature are Utah-based summer-model home security/home automation providers Vivint and Pinnacle Security, according to Alarm.com. “With Smart Schedule Activity Patterns our customers can now have better insight into how they are managing energy usage, which gives them even more control,” said Jim Nye, VP of product development for Vivint, in a prepared statement.

Kenny said that since Alarm.com launched emPower last June, it has gained more than 100,000 subscribers. The new Smart Schedule feature is free to emPower customers with an integrated thermostat plan, he said.

According to a company news release, the new feature “enables thermostat users to optimize their thermostat settings by seeing their home’s actual activity pattern, based on data reported over time by the security system, overlaid onto their thermostat schedule. Through Alarm.com’s Web interface, users can program their home’s ‘smart’ thermostat schedule based on the likelihood of someone being at home.”

Kenny told SSN: “The security platform is really the only system that … has the most information about what’s going on in the house. If you’re armed away, it knows you’re not at home, [and] if you’ve just disarmed the system it knows you’re coming home.” He said it also knows through sensors if a door or window is open or closed.

With Smart Schedule Activity Patterns, he said, “we’re taking this rich information from the security system and giving it to users to help them make better decisions and really optimize their energy management so they get more savings and more efficiency.”

FrontPoint Security participated in the pilot program.