energy efficiency defaults
People on this board will know how to use their thermostat, but...
thousands (perhaps millions) of programmable thermostats are sold every year. The problem is that many people have no clue how to program them. One solution is to pre-program the thermostats with energy-saving settings as the default.
With a few lines of code, all those programmable thermostats can be set to eco-friendly defaults. Those defaults CAN be overridden, and owners are free to change those settings to whatever they would like. It’s just that instead of having no programming (and leaving thermostats at a constant and costly 70 degrees), the eco-friendly program is what will run unless the consumer changes those settings. (I imagine this amounts to inserting just a few lines of computer code – a trivial cost for thermostat manufacturers).
My guess is that a large amount of people would prefer the thermostat that will run in an energy-efficient way right "out of the box," without them having to do anything.