Below is our recent interview with Jason Tienor, CEO of Telkonet:
Q: Who is Telkonet?
A: Telkonet provides intelligent automation and energy management solutions in the form of hardware, software, support, mobile applications and analytics. Our platform is used primarily by properties that feature intermittent occupancy, such as hotels, college dormitories, senior living facilities, multi-dwelling units and the like. Our solutions save properties up to 45% on their energy bills. Their average return on investment is approximately 3 years. We also feature the largest library of third party integrations.
Q: What new technologies are you releasing this year?
A: This year we are releasing the Touch Flex WiFi HVAC controller. Our engineers have designed this latest thermostat iteration to communicate via WiFi, instead of the traditional ZigBee protocol. Opening us to properties with limited network architecture, who still want an energy management solution.
Q: How is Touch Flex WiFi different from typical HVAC controllers?
A: We like to say the Touch Flex WiFi has been “set free,” meaning that it does not require the additional equipment that ZigBee devices require, such as coordinators and a server.
Occupants can control their thermostats and lighting remotely using our “Symphony Sonata” mobile app on their smart phones. Moreover, they can set up customized schedules so they can save energy when they’re typically away from home. They can configure vacation modes, too, and even adjust the temperature remotely when they’re on their way home, so that it’s comfortable when they arrive.
Q: What was the impetus of the Touch Flex WiFi design?
A: Feedback from our customers indicated that their residents liked the sleek, modern look of our traditional EcoTouch+ thermostat, with its flat glass display and haptic feedback like a smart phone; but there was a demand for a modern thermostat that put energy conservation in the hands of the residents, while being able to monitor and maintain the whole system from a single access point. Touch Flex WiFi is the solution. It has the same modern look and feel as our EcoTouch+ but offers the independence and empowerment residents are looking for.
Building managers have ultimate control, however, using our newly developed energy command center called Symphony. This means they can adjust temperature limits, set recovery time and participate in their city’s demand response initiatives.
Q: Who do you anticipate will be interested in this product?
A: Initially, we believe that Flex WiFi will be of most interest to MDU’s (multi-dwelling units), military housing facilities, and college dormitories. These are residents most likely to use mobile apps for climate control and energy savings.
Q: Does Touch Flex WiFi have any similarities with the rest of your thermostat line?
A: Yes, Touch Flex WiFi has many of the same features that make our products exceptional.
This includes the built-in occupancy sensors, which detect both heat and motion. They also feature standard built-in humidity sensors. They’re line powered, can be operated as stand-alone devices or networked. Like our EcoTouch+ version, they feature multi-lingual user interface, an outdoor weather fed and a full-color capacitive touch screen with a customizable interface.