EvoControl™ is much more than just a means to control Evohome by voice. With its own cloud storage, it cleverly extends Evohome with several features that were never in the original Honeywell design brief. We deliberately chose to run it on Alexa because that allows the perfect balance between having a large touchscreen for certain functions (when you're near your Echo Show) but using voice e.g. when you're sitting on the couch or at the dining table. EvoControl is not about theoretical capabilities, it's designed around features that will get used throughout the day because they're powerful yet really convenient to use.
Saving money on energy is not always about having the heating off. The smart money is on active setpoint management that keeps things cosy only when/where people are or will be present. Just tell Alexa that you've started a new Activity and EvoControl will adjust all your heating zones accordingly. Staying up a little later than usual? Tell Alexa to '…postpone Going to Bed by 30 mins' and you won't waste heat upstairs unnecessarily. What's really beneficial in saving energy is that all EvoControl commands can be constrained with an until or duration such as '…until 18:30' or '…for 45 minutes', just like on your panel.
The list of non-native capabilities EvoControl brings to Evohome includes
· Activities/Scenes, · Groups, · Multiple Schedules,
· Schedule Shifting, · Advanced Schedule Editing,
· Charting, · Constrained Overrides.
Every Echo Show becomes an affordable hi-res clone of your Evotouch in any room where you have Alexa. For the technically inclined, EvoControl can even be integrated with the popular Domoticz or Home Assistant smart-home platforms. Despite all its capabilities, it's child's play to setup and use in ways that will really make a difference in your home. If you have Evohome, you deserve EvoControl too!
Alexa, reduce the whole house by 1° for half an hour
Alexa, set the Bedrooms Group to 21° for 30 mins
Alexa, activate 'Boost Upstairs' for 20 minutes
Alexa, make it 20° in the Livingroom & Kitchen
Alexa, set the TV Room to 20° until 8 PM
Alexa, set the Lounge to 22° for 40 minutes
Alexa, raise the whole house by 1° for an hour
Alexa, set the heating mode to Economy until 9 PM
Alexa, make it 22° in the Bedroom at 11 PM
Alexa, make it 18° at 5 PM for 45 mins
Alexa, make it 17° from 8 PM until 21:30
Alexa, set the Kids Rooms to 20°
Alexa, increase the Upstairs Rooms by 0.5° until 11PM
Alexa, set the system to Boost for 30 minutes
Alexa, delay going to bed today by half an hour
Alexa, I'm going to bed 20 minutes earlier than usual
Alexa, I want to get up half an hour earlier tomorrow
Alexa, postpone waking up tomorrow by one hour
• Can be used in any country on all Alexa-enabled devices set to English or German
• A 12-month activation (without contract) normally costs £20 but is currently free!
• In the future, a complimentary 14-day trial period with 100% functionality can be started anytime.
Many roads lead to Rome
Humans are largely predictable creatures and that's why the basis in any home heating system is the concept of schedule. It means setting a baseline temperature for each zone that's only dependent on two things: day-of-week and time-of-day. With a basic assumption that all weeks are the same, it's a rinse and repeat paradigm. For those many moments that your baseline needs some tweaking, EvoControl has you covered.
As the saying goes, there's more than one way to skin a cat. EvoControl provides 6 different means by which you can quickly adjust any number of zones to accurately reflect (imminent) zone occupancy:
These different methods can be combined at will to suit the particular circumstance, while each family member can have their own favourite 'approach'. Many of these commands can also be triggered by tapping icons on the screen of your Echo Show, while Activities can even be triggered from one of the skill's 2 Widgets.
Hopefully you can glean from the above examples that a single short utterance is all it takes to maximise comfort while minimising energy waste. It's really powerful to be able to say "Alexa, activate ShowerTime" shortly before you go upstairs to find that your DHW has been turned on, your towel-rail is pre-heating the towels, and your Bathroom radiator is set to a nice and warm 22°.😁
Note that schedule adjustments are achieved by dynamically modifying the active schedule. Because of the rinse-and-repeat nature of a recurring weekly schedule, a temporarily-modified schedule should be discarded after use by deliberately reverting to a saved ABC — otherwise it will still have the changes and simply repeat them again and again every week. By design, the skill does not try to second-guess by auto-reverting but instead leaves that up to the user. To facilitate this, EvoControl tracks which presets are active in each zone, so you can say "Alexa, revert to baseline" to return all zones with a dynamically modified schedule to their most recent ABC preset. Alternatively, the section on Usage Tips has a suggestion for using an Alexa routine to automate this every day so you cannot forget.
System Overview in HD
The Dashboard is home-screen for the skill and is automatically displayed upon launch if your Echo has a touchscreen. All your zones (including DHW, if you have it) are shown in their own tiles in a colour-scheme familiar from the Evotouch and TCC App. The current System Mode appears in the subheader, together with any constraint 🏁 on its duration. Within the tiles, any zones calling for heat will have a symbol; really cold zones have a . Above each tile, the tint associated with a zone's actual/measured temperature is indicated in a small header-bar (there's a setting to disable this if desired). During sync with TCC, a appears in the top right corner.
What's different to your Evotouch is the colour-coded appendage under each zone. It identifies the currently-active ABC schedule for the zone (or '📋' if the live schedule does not match a preset), together with the next-expected switchpoint (a switchpoint is the combination of time/setpoint SP). Arrows ↑, ↓, ↔ next to the SP indicate whether it will lead to an increase/decrease/no-change to the current SP. Note that it's possible in the settings to hide a zone's appendage when the next switchpoint will not actually change the current SP for a zone (to reduce screen-clutter). This is seen e.g. in zones Guestroom, Studio & Garage in the example screenshots above.
A revolving array of usage hints appears in the dashboard's footer (this can be hidden if desired), as do touch-enabled icons for selecting Scenes, Setpoint-Editor, Help, Settings, Peek (if you have hidden any tiles to reduce screen clutter, toggling this will show/hide those zones), Graphing (if you have connected a HGI-80, this draws a graph of the previous 24h's climate in a zone), and --- Locations (provided you have multiple systems/Evotouches).
You can assign a default zone to each of your Echos by saying e.g. "Alexa, the default zone is the Kitchen". Subsequently, when speaking to a particular Echo, you can omit the zone name (or just say 'here') — "Alexa, make it 20° for 30 mins" would then target the Kitchen zone by default. It can be reassigned at will and deleted by saying "Alexa, delete the default zone".
If you have a lot of Evohome zones combined with a smaller screen on your Echo, it's possible to hide certain tiles from the normal view and have them only appear when you press the Peek button (normally hidden). See Peek.
Note that a more limited display experience is provided on the small/round-screened Echo Spot. You also cannot create/edit activities/scenes or groups — nor create multiple schedules — without having a rectangular screen.
See the section with Example Commands.
Important: Users whose spoken language is not natively supported by Alexa should visit the section on Aliases for an explanation of how to help Alexa understand their zone names.
The myriad of features in EvoControl Smart Heat have been designed in a way that you can just ignore the ones you don't want to use and keep things uncomplicated. That's the beauty of voice control — there's zero UI-clutter!
If all you have is e.g. a screenless Echo Dot device or the Alexa app on a tablet/phone, all of the intuitive constrained-override commands are still available and require no setup. They're the ones that save money and raise comfort by allowing you to specify an until/duration for overrides both to setpoints and the system mode:
It goes without saying that all the query commands work too, so you can ask if there is heat demand or what's next for the system.
If you also own an Echo Show and have set up the likes of Scenes/Activities, Groups, schedule-shifting targets, and/or Multiple Schedules, all of the commands for using these features work perfectly on screenless devices in other rooms — the touchscreen is only needed to set them up, not to use them!
Every zone gets 3 ABC schedules
Evohome natively supports a single-schedule paradigm but EvoControl Smart Heat can store up to three full schedules in your EvoControl account for upload to TCC at will (the 'Live' schedule is separate so in reality the skill manages 4 schedules for you). This can be very useful e.g. for switching between Night/Day shifts or Summer/Winter. The extra schedules are referred to as ABC but a nickname can be assigned to them in the skill's settings to jog your memory. Which of the ABC schedules is currently-active for a zone is shown in each tile's appendage:
There's another reason for having multiple schedules — they are easy to revert to when you need to undo temporary schedule-edits. With EvoControl, you can vocally specify setpoint changes that should apply later today rather than starting now. If at 13:30 you say "Set the Kitchen to 20° until 2PM", that change starts now and is just a regular TemporaryOverride. However, you can also say e.g. "Make it 20° at 4 PM for 30mins" and that change will not be immediate but will take effect at 4PM (and last until 4:30PM). This is achieved by dynamically modifying the active schedule. That temporary schedule can be discarded after use by reverting to a saved ABC. As a visual reminder, after you have edited the active schedule via the spoken insertion of a switchpoint, the relevant appendage on the main dashboard changes so as to indicate '📋' rather than ABC.
In the schedule view in the UI, a gray box appears around today's day-name in the header and a vertical gray bar is drawn beside the switchpoint that resulted in the current target for the zone (which can be from last night if there was no switchpoint this morning).
Some example schedule-related commands:
When you first enable EvoControl, it automatically fills the A preset with your current TCC-cloud schedule for all zones (plus DHW, if applicable). This is so that you can easily revert to A after a temporary schedule-edit utterance. You can of course alter this preset at any time and it's merely a starting-out convenience.
From the basic schedule overview, there are self-explanatory buttons for View, Upload ABC, Edit and Save As. You'll also see a button labelled ΔT which is enabled when the skill's weather feature is configured. It plots the Delta-T between the schedule and the expected outdoor temperature for the upcoming 24h. The wider the gap between these two plots, the more energy you can expect will be required to achieve the comfort level in question. You can see this clearly in the final image above.
Advance or Defer scheduled moments
Schedule Shifting is a very powerful energy-saving feature that lets you 🕚 advance or 🕐 defer key 'moments' within your daily routine on the fly.
To set it up, you assign start/end times to 4 named timespans — '⏰ Waking Up', '🥪 Lunch Time', '🍽️ Dinner Time', plus '🛌 Going to Bed' — as suited to your household. In daily use, several syntactic variations of these names are supported so the wording when actually using the spoken commands is not rigid. Default time-values will have been filled in for you but these can be edited (at any time) to suit personal preference (tap on the text of the time-span to launch the on-screen editor).
For each of these blocks, you can choose which target zones (note that DHW is excluded) are affected when you mention the related span in a shift-command (observe the 🔢 texts showing the number of currently-assigned target zones for each block). Selection uses the familiar zone-selector you will already have seen for both groups and schedule-cloning.
Any time you invoke a schedule-shift command, EvoControl will check which of the target zones have any upcoming schedule-switchpoints that fall inside the block. If so, the switchpoint(s) in question will be advanced or deferred by the shift specified in the command (up to ±3 hours). You'll be told which zone will experience the initial setpoint and its shifted time-of-day, and on Echos with a screen you'll see a brief dashboard-popup where the next-setpoint appendage will visually reflect the changes. If you try to shift a block that's already passed for today, you'll be told so.
Some example schedule-shift commands:
Note that you cannot specify a day-name with this command, but you can mention today (default) or tomorrow. That's deliberate because shifting is cumulative and if you were to shift things too far in advance there's a possibility you might forget you already did so and perhaps inadvertently shift again.
The command to revert to baseline returns each zone to its most recent ABC schedule, providing an ideal means to return to normal after a shift that should not be repeated next week. It works because EvoControl keeps track of which ABC preset was most recently uploaded to each zone individually, whether by voice or touch inputs.
The shortest path to Energy Savings
By far the easiest way to reflect real-life zone-occupancy makes use of activities (also called scenes). You create/name them using the Echo's touchscreen scene-editor and activate them at will by voice/touch. Each involved zone has its own setpoint which you determine when creating the scene. Any zones you omit from a scene will be unaffected when you trigger it. Up to 12 activities can be saved and subsequently activated (and even scheduled) with or without a specified until or duration.
The 1st example screenshot shown above is of an activity named 'GoodNight' which sets the Wardrobe zone to 19.5°, the Bedroom to 18°, the Bathroom to 22°, and leaves all other zones unaffected. Tapping Activate would trigger this activity, Edit will unlock it for editing, while the arrow keys will browse backwards/forwards through the other saved activities. New launches the editor to start creating a new scene from scratch.
The last screenshot shows the scene-editor and an example of activity-creation. Here, 4 zones have already been tapped to add them to an as-yet unnamed new activity. Whenever at least 1 zone is selected the Assign Name button is enabled — it will open an on-screen popup so you can type a name for the activity when you're all done. If you tapped the zone in question again it would be de-selected, while tapping other zones will add them to the activity too. Tapping the and arrows above and below each tile sets the desired setpoint SP.
Some example scene-related commands:
When you first launch EvoControl Smart Heat, you'll see that an activity called Standby has already been created for you. This assigns a setpoint of 5° to all your zones, which is similar to what the HeatingOff system mode normally does. When the system is in true HeatingOff mode, it rejects manual overrides from your TRV valves or spoken overrides via EvoControl. The good news is that when this Standby activity is active, any overrides will be handled. Some examples:
N.B. Activating a scene — even one that involves all zones — doesn't change the System Mode but rather the mode(s) of the involved zone(s). For that reason, to return to 'normal' you must retract the individual overrides. "Set all zones to Follow Schedule" or "Reset the System Mode" will achieve this. Saying "Set the System Mode to Auto" won't have any effect because it is already Auto!
You should also realise that the changes introduced by a 'previous' activity don't auto-revert just because you trigger a 'new' activity. If the new activity happens to address (some) zones included in the previous activity while that first activity is still active, the setpoints for those zones will indeed be updated. However, any zones touched by the old activity but uninvolved in the new one will remain 'adjusted' outside the scope of the new activity. This is by design, so you should be aware of reverting to either a saved ABC schedule or reverting all zones to follow-schedule if you want a new activity-activation to 'replace' a previous one. The command "Alexa, revert to baseline" can be very useful for this as it remembers which preset was previously assigned to each zone.
Change multiple zones at once
While you will usually change the setpoint of a single zone by voice (e.g. 'Set the Kitchen to 20° until 2PM') or those of multiple zones by triggering an Activity (e.g. "Alexa, activate Siesta for half an hour"), there can be occasions when you want to address multiple zones manually.
The easiest way to do that is in the Setpoint Editor (this looks a lot like the Scene/Activity Editor, with the exception that the center of the tile is not tappable here). It displays all your zones with their current setpoints SP in a special view where each tile has and tappable arrows above and below the SP. If you alter anything, the Upload button becomes active so you can send your changes to TCC.
Just like with the Schedule Editor, there are and buttons to bulk-change all the displayed zones by ± 0.5°. The and buttons allow you to pre-populate the editor with either the current setpoints as basis (this is the default), or the current actual temperatures.
After making a change to any setpoint(s), in addition to the Upload button you'll see the Duration button become active. When pressed, this pops up a duration-selection bar in the footer. Tapping any of those buttons adds that time-constraint to all the zones whose setpoints were just edited — note that tapping a constraint immediately applies it as there is no subsequent 'send' button. The option to the right hides this footer and returns the normal one into view.
If you change your mind, you can use the back button at the top left of the screen to ignore the changes or alternatively press the Cancel button. You can say "Alexa, undo" even after you already submitted the changes, provided it's the first spoken command after the submission. This will restore the setpoints that were in effect just before the edits.
The editor can be shown by tapping the Setpoint-Editor button in the footer of the main dashboard, or alternatively by saying "Alexa, show the setpoint editor".
Note: If the system mode is HeatingOff or Away, all buttons except Cancel are disabled, as are the tiles themselves.
So many ways to say a command…
Whenever you either tap the Help button on the main dashboard or say "Alexa, help" when the skill is in-session, a scrollable list of example commands is displayed:
Up to 12 named Zone-Groups
Activities and Groups both address simultaneous setpoint-changes for multiple zones but they do so differently. As mentioned earlier, with activities you pre-determine the setpoints when the activity is created — the same settings are always re-used upon activation. With groups, the common setpoint (or increment/decrement adjustment) is mentioned as part of the spoken command each time you address a group. Both paradigms have their uses!
Let's say you have a group called 'Bedrooms' with 2 members: 'Master Bedroom' and 'Guestroom'. If e.g. Master Bedroom was currently set to 18° and Guestroom was set to 20°, saying "Alexa, increase the Bedrooms Group by 1°" would assign 19° to Master Bedroom and 21° to Guestroom. Saying "Alexa, set the Bedrooms to 15°" sets the whole group to 15°. Whether you include the word 'Group' or omit it is optional but it can be useful for disambiguation if you have a regular zone with a very similar name. Groups can also be the target for ABC schedule commands. Note that when creating a group, the Assign Name button does not become active until you have selected at least 2 zones because a group must have more than one zone to make sense.
Some example group-related commands:
Tell the Skill that which it cannot retrieve…
There are certain parameters which you can set on your Evotouch panel which Honeywell does not expose via the API and which the skill therefore has no way of knowing. You can fill them in on this page which is reached from the Offsets button on the Settings page.
While Honeywell always refers to 'Eco/Boost' mode regardless of the offset, if you specify your chosen -3°…+3° offset to the skill then it will reflect Eco 🌿 (for <0) or Boost ♨️ (for >0) in both the spoken and on-screen terminology so as to better address your actual setting.
Another advantage of specifying your offset is that the skill can use it to compensate for Evohome's unintuitive behaviour when the System Mode is Eco/Boost.
Normally, when you define a TemporaryOverride (e.g. on your Evotouch or in the TCC App), the Evotouch will apply the selected offset after receiving the new setpoint (behaviour introduced in the 2020 firmware update). However, this means that if the System Mode is Eco/Boost and you ask "Alexa, set the Kitchen to 20°", you will briefly see the 20° appear on your Evotouch but it will quickly drop to e.g. 17° if your offset is the default -3°.
If you set the 🌿 AutoWithEco Offset Compensation slider switch here to 'ON' then the skill will pre-apply the mathematical inverse of the offset so that when the Evotouch post-applies the offset, the net result will be the temperature you actually had in mind. When the switch is ON then a THRESHOLD tile appears for you to choose the threshold above which the compensation is to apply (usually 16° but selectable here in case of future firmware changes).
Note that changing the values on these tiles is not communicated back to your Evotouch (there's no support for that in the API). You're merely helping the skill better understand your system…
Customise EvoControl's Look & Feel
You enter the settings screen from the main dashboard by tapping the Settings icon (note this can only be done on Alexa-enabled devices with a rectangular screen). The slider buttons allow you to:
Under the slider switches are 3 form fields where you can enter the nicknames for your ABC schedules using an on-screen keyboard. These will then appear in the headers on the various schedule screens to jog your memory as to what each preset represents.
The footer here shows your current Default zone which you assigned using the e.g. "Alexa, the default zone is the Livingroom" command.
To the right are 7 touch-enabled icons for: S-Blocks to edit the timespans for the Schedule Shifting function, Live→ABC to copy an entire week's live schedule to an ABC preset for 1-12 zones (plus DHW), Aliases to specify English equivalents for non-English zone names and to specify which zones (if any) to hide on the main dashboard, Offsets to reach the sub-settings page for specifying values not retrievable in the API, Groups for defining/browsing zone-groups, Zone Order for setting the tile display order on the main dashboard view, and Account to refresh the skill configuration if you change something in your TCC account or add/remove a HGI-80 on your smartskills account.
Choose your preferred arrangement
This screen (which is reached by pressing Zone Order in the Settings screen) allows you to select the sort-order for zone-tiles as displayed on the main dashboard (incidentally, also in the setpoint-editor, the scenes-editor and the groups-editor).
When you tap any desired tile in the bottom row (unset) it is moved to the top row (set) as the next item. Tapping a top-row item moves it back down to the unset row. When all the tiles are set then the Save button is enabled and the sort-order can be saved.
Hitting the back arrow in the top-left corner of the screen will abandon the entire edit-session without saving it.
International Zone Names
If your native spoken language is not supported by Alexa, it's likely that you will use either British or American English as the language setting on your Echo(s). However, the zone names as displayed on your Evotouch — and therefore reported by TCC to the skill — are most likely to be in your native language, meaning Alexa will not understand them in spoken commands.
On the Settings page, you'll find a button Aliases that will open the Alias Editor. Here you can define and save a 1:1 mapping from your native zone names to English language equivalents. The names you provide are your choice and do not even have to translate correctly, as long as they are understandable room names in English you're good to go! Note that DHW is always called Hot Water and cannot be assigned to.
The concept can also be useful if your zone names are already in English but e.g. strongly abbreviated so that fuzzy-matching a zone name fails. In that case, you can define an alias for just that zone with the name spelled out in full for Alexa to comprehend.
Whenever you define one or more aliases, your Activities/Scenes and Groups are automatically adjusted to reflect the aliased name so no manual editing is required.
You'll also notice a series of green radio-button toggles to the left of your zone names on this screen. These work regardless of whether you have assigned an alias or not and serve to hide the zone in question from the normal view on the main dashboard. This can be useful if you have a lot of zones and a very small Echo screen to display them on. After you have selected/de-selected whichever zones you want to hide/unhide, the 💾 Hidden button becomes active for you to save the changes.
If you have hidden any tiles in this way, the main dashboard will show a new button in the footer which can be used to Peek at all zones for the duration of the current session or until de-selected.
Any tiles hidden on the dashboard will also be hidden on the skill's dashboard widget.
Note that hidden zones can still be controlled/queried by voice and also still appear in Scenes/Activities, Groups and the Setpoint Editor.
Forecast & Historical Data
EvoControl can optionally interface to Evohome through RF/USB and either the open-source Domoticz or Home Assistant smart-home software packages — you'll need a HGI-80 (or equivalent, e.g. SSM or nanoCUL) interface for this option to become available (setup instructions are below).
This connectivity provides a parallel path for EvoControl to access data about your system that Honeywell does not (currently) expose via the TCC API:
Real-time connectivity status / is always shown on EvoControl's dashboard. Should any command via RF/USB fail to complete, TCC is used as a fallback data-source whenever possible.
Note that HGI connectivity is unsupported when you have more than a single Evotouch ('location') associated with your TCC account.
Access to 📈 graphical data can really help you to understand a room's thermal characteristics, providing visual feedback on response times for setpoint-changes and e.g. how quickly temperatures drift naturally over time due to thermal gain/loss. Those insights can help you plan the optimal schedule entries to achieve your home-comfort goals while minimising energy use.
To view chart data, you'll use a icon that appears on the bottom-right of the main skill-dashboard when RF/USB is connected. When tapped, it starts flashing and a subsequent tap on any tile will draw the associated graph(s) instead of triggering the default show-schedule behaviour.
In addition to drawing SP and actual-temperature data, a plot of the Live Schedule for the period is included for reference. You'll normally observe discrepancies between it and the SP curve due to the advancement/delay effects of Evohome's optimum start/finish plus e.g. any TemporaryOverrides you requested in that timeframe. If the system mode was Eco/Boost during that period, you'd observe the SP plot showing temperatures shifted from the schedule plot by an amount equal to your system's offset (usually 3°). This is clearly visible in the first 3 example images above.
If you tap on any of the caption text entries above the graphs (i.e. the labels 🟠 Actual, 🟡 Schedule, 🔵 Setpoint) then the plot for that particular curve toggles opacity between 1.0 and 0.3 so that you can better compare overlapping portions of the 3 curves.
By default, the horizontal resolution is an impressive 5 minutes. The scaling on the y-axis is dynamic and adjusts so as to show as much relevant detail as possible. A horizontal line shows the average temperature for the period, while a vertical line is drawn through the lowest measured temperature of the past 24h.
Some example graphing-related commands:
For Domoticz, you can include an Outdoor Temperature device (whether real or virtual) called Outside or with the value alias: outside in the device description field. For Home Assistant, the device should be called e.g. sensor.01_123456_outside (the ID should mirror the controller-ID) and be no more chirpy than providing 200 data-points/24h. EvoControl can use such data to display graphs of the outdoor temperature during the previous 24h. The dashboard header will then also show the current outside temperature — this local sensor has precedence over the Honeywell-supplied weather for your location (if you enabled that feature in settings).
When you ask Alexa either for a system-summary or if there is demand, a dedicated screen is shown with the numerical percentage values and also the current battery-percentage of each zone's sensor/actuator. Any mains-powered devices (e.g. BDR-91 relays) will show .
Whenever TCC is offline, the skill can operate in degraded mode and still provide many useful voice/touch functions via your HGI-80:
As soon as TCC comes back online, full operation is automatically restored. TCC will just query your Evotouch panel for whatever setpoints are 'live' when operation returns and take that as its status quo.
Note that this USB/RF feature is for technically-savvy EvoControl users with a smart-home setup.
In order to enable communication with Domoticz, you will need to:
For Home Assistant, you will need to:
Some useful Pointers
EvoControl is a so-called custom skill, which means its voice-model is not based on any pre-defined template but was especially written to address the envisaged functionality. Because it's not a smart-home skill, your thermostats will not appear in the Alexa app as smart-home devices.
To use EvoControl, you have to first invoke it by name. If you use any other custom Skills then the process should be familiar.
We can differentiate between one-shot and session invocation — how they behave depends on whether your Alexa-enabled device has a display or not:
Alexa, tell Smart Heat to set the system mode to Autoor
Alexa, ask Smart Heat if there's heat demand. It's called a one-shot because it will just execute a single command and then the skill will exit. You could subsequently issue another one-shot or e.g. ask Alexa for the weather. Without a screen, the skill will always exit but if you have a display then there's a user-preference in the skill-settings to automatically transition EvoControl to session-mode after handling a one-shot.
Alexa, open/start/launch Smart Heat. After the beep you can now issue back-to-back commands without first having to say the
Alexa, ask Smart Heat…part each time. For example,
Alexa, set the system mode to Autoor
Alexa, is there heat demand?.
Remember that while you're inside a session, Alexa only handles commands intended for this skill so if e.g. you ask for the weather while a session is active, you'll get an error that "EvoControl cannot help you with that".
Note that each time EvoControl sends commands to the TCC cloud it looks for a confirmation message from Honeywell. If that confirmation is missing because e.g. the TCC service is temporarily offline, you'll be told to verify things on your Evotouch. If you launch the skill while TCC is offline you'll be told so and a link will be shown on your Echo's display to a Honeywell page to check for when it returns to service.
The Undo command is context-sensitive and can:
EvoControl uses fuzzy-matching to match your zone names as spelled for TCC against Alexa's expected spelling thereof. If you have a TCC zone called 'Master Bedrm' or 'Mstr Bedrm', Alexa will hear 'Master Bedroom' when you wish to address it by voice. Thanks to the fuzzy matching, the correct zone will still be addressed (it does depend to some extent on how 'close' your other zone names are). There should therefore be no need to rename your TCC zones to work with EvoControl.
If any of your zones have blank names (e.g. from a bound but spare HR-92) then they will be skipped over during discovery. The skill refers to these as ghost zones. If you cannot identify the source of your ghosts, the issue is probably an anomaly that incidentally occurs on Honeywell's end. Login to your TCC account, select your location and delete it. Then re-add it and the ghosts should be gone.
Sometimes, after making a call to Honeywell technical support (for whatever reason), Honeywell will completely reset your TCC account. This has the side-effect of reassigning your SystemID and/or ZoneIDs which unfortunately invalidates the oauth token you were assigned when you first linked the skill. If this happens, the skill will recognise the change and inform you that a re-auth from your Account Dashboard will need to be performed.
If you wish to have the skill automatically revert to baseline every day at (say)
just after midnight, you can create a custom routine via the Alexa app to do something like this:
Just open the Alexa app and go to routines. Then hit to create a new routine. Under WHEN hit the for Add an Event, choosing Schedule and subsequently At Time. Choose the time of day at which the routine should run. Next, under ALEXA WILL hit the for Add an Action and choose Customised. Under Enter what you would ask Alexa, type ask smart heat to revert to baseline. Then hit Next and finally, Save. You can choose any of your Echos or the mobile device on which you have the Alexa app as the device from which Alexa will respond.
Just be mindful that any schedule-shifting applying to 'tomorrow' will be negated by this routine. If you regularly specify tomorrow-shifts, perhaps run this routine only on Sundays after midnight.
On any of your supported Echo Show devices, you can install 2 Widgets for EvoControl.
The first supports touch-activation of your scenes/activities. In addition to your regular 'Standby' activity, you'll see one named 'Standby ♾️' which automatically applies PermanentOverride to this oft-used feature. It also shows the DHW temperature and if any zones are calling for heat (when you have an RF/USB device connected). The second widget is a glanceable overview of the current state of your Evohome system.
If an activity name ends with 1-3 digits plus either an 'm' or apostrophe (shorthand for minutes) then the activity in question will be activated for that particular duration in minutes via a TemporaryOverride. There should be no space(s) between the digits and the m/'. Examples: HW Boost 20m, HW Boost 120', ShowerTime 15m. This only applies when the activity is triggered from a widget and not when triggered by voice or touch from the 'full' skill experience.
Note that there is no feedback to indicate whether an activity-trigger attempt was successful (a widget limitation).
Activities are normally not actionable when the System Mode is HeatingOff. You'll see this on the widget in the form of disabled/greyed-out activity names with strikethru. However, if the only item in an activity is Hot Water ON then this can be triggered (with Evohome, Hot Water is actually controllable in HeatingOff mode). In Away mode, everything is blocked.
The second Widget does not control anything but does show you an entire system overview when swiped into view. If you have a HGI-80 in use, any zones with heat-demand will have a white border to them so that they stand out clearly.
Note that both Widgets can launch the 'full' skill by tapping on their headers. Both also show an icon for the current system mode in the top right corner, and a symbol with the number of zones calling for heat when you have a HGI-80 in use.
Note that you can backup and restore the skill configuration from your smartskills Account Dashboard. This facilitates keeping a library of subtly different settings and swapping them out at will. The how-to is here.
Real-Time Fault Log
With EvoControl, you don't have to visit menus to consult a fault-log because all diagnostic information is shown directly in the Dashboard and for each tile individually.
Because some tiles can be invisible/off-screen (requiring Peek or scrolling to come into view), the main header will show a master ⚠️ icon whenever faults are present on any tile.
Unite multiple Evohome Systems
EvoControl brings all your Evotouch panels together in a single place. When you have multiple locations registered to your TCC Account, the bottom right of your dashboard footer is populated with extra numerical buttons (referred to earlier as --- Locations) to allow direct selection of up to 4 systems. It doesn't matter if each Evotouch is situated at a different physical address (e.g. Home, Chalet) or at the same address e.g. in a large home or office that required more than 12 zones.
When more than one location is linked to your TCC account, the name of the selected location will automatically appear in the header on the dashboard.
Some example location-related commands:
Note that only one location can be active at a time — you cannot issue voice commands addressing e.g. location 1 while location 2 is displayed on your dashboard.
Modify switchpoints in Bulk
You can do simple editing of today's schedule using voice inputs, but not create/modify a whole week's schedule by voice. For that we have the touch-enabled bulk switchpoint editor which is reached by selecting Edit while viewing a schedule.
There are buttons for ± 10 minutes and buttons to assign ± 0.5° which apply to a whole week's worth of switchpoints at once. The bulk-modified schedule can be immediately uploaded to your Evotouch without first saving it as a preset, or just saved as an ABC entry for that zone. These buttons are only activated when an edit is actually made.
To drill down and cherry-pick particular setpoints to be modified, we have the Selective button which, when chosen, dims all the setpoints in the grid, ready to be selected by tipping on them. Only selected cells react to subsequent presses of the ± 10 min and ± 0.5° buttons. When in selective mode, two new buttons are shown — Unselect All can be used as a shortcut to deselecting the whole grid, while Everything does the opposite and selects all cells. Otherwise, tapping an already-selected cell deselects it again individually.
As a visual aid to which cells were already modified in this session, the white background of any changed cell's time-value becomes crimson. You can keep cycling through select → modify → unselect → select-new → modify, etc. until all your desired edits are completed — you only need to choose save/upload when all your envisioned edits are finished.
While in selective mode, tapping a day-name selects/unselects a whole column representing a day's worth of switchpoints. Outside of selective mode the entire grid including headers is disabled for touch inputs.
Hitting the back arrow in the top-left corner of the screen will abandon the entire edit-session without saving it.
It's also possible to copy entire schedule blocks from zone to zone. Tap on a tile on the main dashboard to select the donor zone. Select View and then choose either the Live schedule or any of the ABC-presets, as desired. Next, choose More and then Copy To. This will launch a zone-selector which looks like the group-creation selector. When you have selected all the target zones, pressing Finish will complete the cloning process.
Via the Live→ABC button on the settings screen, you can open a view akin to the groups-editor that allows selecting zones (including DHW) for which the Live schedule will be copied to one of the ABC-presets. This can be useful after you select a Schedule-Shift operation to immortalize the shift under one of your presets.
The section on Schedule Comparison details how you can graphically compare your modified schedule to the other saved ABC presets. However, it's also possible to view the comparison for an entire week in grid form. To do that, select View and then More. Here you will see a button labelled Compare. It will draw a grid with crimson highlighting of the differences, much like you see when editing a schedule using the bulk-editor.
Graphical Depiction of Schedules
A picture paints a thousand words and a graph can sometimes convey more useful information than a grid. That's why each zone's ABC switchpoints can be plotted graphically alongside the current/live schedule for the zone.
While viewing a schedule, tapping on any of the cells in the header row of day-names draws a switchpoint comparison-graph for that day/zone. Note that this feature is disabled while editing a schedule because then that particular tap is reserved for selecting/deselecting a column of cells in the grid.
If any line-segments from the 4 different plots overlap each other, the last-drawn line-segment conceals any underlying one(s). For that reason, if the current/live schedule matches one of the presets (which will often be the case), a combined e.g. A/Live is drawn together with B and C and the separate Live is omitted. If you see multiple entries for Live/'…' it means that the saved data for 2 or more ABC presets is exactly the same.
If you tap on the 🟠 🟡 🔵 caption text then the plot for that particular curve toggles opacity between 1.0 and 0.3 so that you can better compare overlapping portions of the 3/4 curves.
It's also possible to view the comparison for an entire week rather than a particular day. To do that, select View and then More. Here you will see a button labelled Line-Chart.