- Amazon is partnering with clean energy provider startup Arcadia Power to sell and install smart home kits.
- The idea is that making additions like a smart thermostat, smart plugs, and smart LED light bulbs can help homeowners cut down on energy costs.
- It’s a big play for Amazon, which is trying to get Alexa into as many homes as possible.
- But the extra efficiency could help lower power bills by increasing efficiency.
Amazon is trying a more efficient route to get into customers’ homes.
The e-commerce and tech giant has partnered with clean energy startup Arcadia Power to sell “home efficency bundles.” The bundles will include smart devices to upgrade customers’ homes to be more efficient, including smart thermostats, smart outlets, and smart LED light bulbs. They will also include Amazon devices like the Echo Dot, the Echo Show, or the Ring doorbell.
Arcadia’s service aggregates traditional utility providers to help customers get a better deal on energy and use greener energy sources.
Amazon will install the packages as part of the package, through its Amazon Home Services offering.
The idea is that “the cheapest energy is the energy we don’t use,” Arcadia Power CEO Kiran Bhatraju said in a prepared statement. Though the information is still preliminary, some studies show that devices like smart thermostats can cut down power usage in homes.
The bundles, of which there are two levels, will come at no upfront cost. Even the installation will be baked into the pricing plan. Instead, customers will pay a monthly fee – $US20 for the basic bundle or $US36 for the plus – as part of their power bill from Arcadia.
The Basic Home Efficiency Bundle includes the Ecobee Smart Thermostat, three smart LED bulbs, an Amazon Echo Dot, and four Wifi-enabled smart plugs, while the Plus Home Efficiency Bundle includes the same with a Ring doorbell and an Amazon Echo Show instead of the Dot.
The offering is just another way Amazon is trying to expand the reach of its Alexa service into more homes. Amazon has been playing up Alexa’s smart home capabilities, marketing the service as both a utility and entertainment hub.
Amazon made a splashy show of trying to own the connected home during the September press conference where it debuted its new Alexa-enabled gadgets, unveiling products like a voice-operated microwave and updates to its popular Alexa-enabled Echo Dot, just to name a few.
Also in September, the company’s Alexa Fund, which it usually uses to fund voice-technology ventures, invested in prefabricated housing startup Plant Prefab. It focuses on building new, prefabricated, single- and multi-family homes using sustainable practices, and it claims it can build faster and with less waste than traditional methods, according to the company’s website.
Amazon clearly sees an opportunity in the connected home and wants Alexa’s ecosystem in as many homes as possible, as soon as possible, to dominate the market and fend off competitors like Google.
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