Our core mission is fighting climate change. Our company is building for a future that will decarbonize home heating and cooling. But how did we get here? Let’s start back at the beginning.
Towards the end of 2016, two brothers designed a simple website to share the Mysa Smart Thermostat for Baseboard Heating with the world. Growing up in St. John’s, NL, we were surrounded by homes with electric baseboard heating and as we started to build our own smart homes, we were puzzled why there were no smart thermostats we could buy or recommend to our friends and family.
By this time, great smart thermostats from Nest and Ecobee had paved the way for homes with low voltage heating and cooling. These products allowed customers to take full control of their home’s comfort with a simple but powerful smart home solution that also cut down on the amount of energy each house used. High voltage systems like electric baseboard heating were not compatible with any existing smart thermostats and were left out in the cold. This was the birth of Mysa.
That little website we made? It went on to help the company collect nearly $700k in pre-orders! This cemented our belief that there was a large untapped market - and one that was ripe for disruption. After raising our first pre-seed investment round, we proceeded to build, certify, manufacture, and deliver the world's first smart thermostat for electric baseboard heating. Over the course of 2018 and 2019, Mysa for Baseboard Heating went to become the most loved thermostat for electric heat - helping tens of thousands of customers across Canada and the US save money while staying cozy in their homes.
Riding high on the success of our first product, Mysa took everything we learned and added Mysa for Electric In-Floor Heating as our second ever product. And again, our customers loved it - It has since become the most-loved thermostat in its category.
Over the course of the first few years of Mysa we learned a tremendous amount about all of the energy and heating & cooling systems across North America (and ultimately the world). We realized that we all were part of something much much bigger and that Mysa could be so much more! Decarbonizing home heating will have a massive impact on fighting climate change and Mysa is primed to be a leader. We can help this transition happen rapidly and in a way where everyone (utilities, homeowners, governments) benefits.
You see, nearly two thirds of home heating in North America still relies on the burning of fossil fuels such as oil and natural gas. While it may seem simple to think that we can easily convert these homes to electric solutions, the size and scale of the problem makes it much harder than it may appear. Alongside the rise of electric vehicles, the electrification of home heating will put tremendous pressure on utilities to keep up with rising electricity demand.
But there is hope! Electric heat pumps are as close to magic machines as possible without being… well, magic! Moving heat - instead of creating heat - allows us to heat our homes with a fraction of the energy normally needed, drastically reducing the amount of new electricity generation we will need to transition all fossil fuel heated homes to fully electric homes.
The potential of heat pumps to help decarbonize home heating inspired us. Tracking their rapid adoption curve over the last decade, Mysa was compelled to explore how we could help everyone get the most out of these systems. So, earlier this year we launched Mysa for Mini-Split Heat Pumps and Air Conditioners and for the first time expanded our product lineup beyond thermostats for electric resistance heating. Our product is focused on the ductless mini-split heat pump, which is the fastest growing category of heat pump globally, and known for its efficiency, ease of installation, and potential for radically shifting the way we heat and cool our homes.
The Future is Electric
And yet, there is still a huge amount of work to be done! If we want to truly help the world move as fast as possible with decarbonizing home heating, we believe there are three important pillars of change that must happen:
A smart thermostat for all - Thermostats for heating and cooling systems are not one-size-fits-all and there are still many types of smart thermostats for different types of systems that still need to be built - and when we do build them, they need to be affordable and accessible to all.
A unified HVAC platform that “just works” - Increasingly homes today have multiple types of heating and cooling systems and/or devices as they seek to balance home comfort and energy efficiency. But these systems don’t talk to each other. This wastes energy. As great as existing smart home platforms like Google Home, Alexa, and HomeKit are, they aren't designed to provide a seamless and powerful energy management solution for all of those different kinds of HVAC systems. A solution that can give homeowners total comfort while saving energy and money, while also growing to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing energy system.
Grid flexibility on a scale that matters - Transitions can be painful. The changes that are needed to decarbonize heating only make it harder for energy producers to shift more of their generation to carbon free sources like solar and wind. And we need to do it all as fast as possible to have the best chance at abating the worst of climate change. Wouldn’t it be great if we could solve multiple problems at once? Similar to intelligently managed EV charging, smart thermostats allow for a dynamic relationship between homeowners and utilities to manage large HVAC loads. So homeowners will benefit from lower bills, while utilities will have the capacity to transition to solar and wind power without having to worry about stress on the grid.
There is A LOT of work to do. The three pillars listed above are Mysa’s map for fighting climate change - but our mission doesn’t end there. I am writing this letter in my fully electric powered home in St. John’s, NL. A home that is powered almost entirely by the region's vast hydroelectric resources. It’s an example of where I believe the rest of the world is headed. A fully electric future that meets our sustainability needs, making the world a better, cleaner, and more efficient place for all. And, with Mysa, staying nice and cozy while doing it!