by Hannah Brown
Google gets into the saving the environment game with their learning thermostat, Nest. For $249, this thermostat begins to make homes into the futuristic abodes like those found in the Disney Channel original movie, Smart House, where a teenage computer savant wins a computerized house for his family (imdb.com). But instead of making perfect smoothies and cleaning your room, Nest creates personalized schedules for the temperature of your house, turns down it’s power when it senses that no one is at home, shows you your energy efficiency, and can be controlled remotely from your phone (nest.com). Using Nest, people can now prepare a warmed home when they’re returning after a cold outing or ensure that they are not unnecessarily chilling an empty building.
Nest was released a couple of years ago, but its reviews were mixed as people questioned its worth and value. Now Nest isn’t just attractive for its hip, on trend tech vibe, it seems to be worth every penny. A new study conducted by Nest analyzed data collected by MyEnergy (an acquisition of Nest) on 1,500 homes’ energy use before and after installing the thermostat. The results of this study concluded that the smart thermostat pays for itself in 2 years. In other words, it leads to saving of $131-$145 a year per household by saving users 10 to 12% on heating bills and 15% on cooling bills. (wired.com)
Almost more impressive than the findings of this one study is that two more studies that were independent of Nest’s funding, conducted by the Energy Trust of Oregon and Vectren, corroborated these results. (techcrunch.com)
With Nest, people can not only prepare their homes for a warm welcoming, or save money on their bills, they can also track their energy usage. MyEnergy, which used to be run by Nest’s General Manager of Energy Services and is now a subsidiary of Nest itself, tracks users’ energy patterns and allows them to understand their own ways. In addition to allowing users to get a deeper understanding of their impact and Nest’s capabilities, customers can now contact live Nest Energy Advisors to learn the ways of Nest and how they can save the most.
These studies of the monetary value of Nest are particularly interesting in considering how individuals learn to care about climate change. If they can’t relate to the impending, but still seemingly distant, effects of climate change, at least they can be motivated by monetary gains. The short-term goal, in the case of using Nest, benefits in the long-term, as it cuts down energy usage and primes people to be aware of the needs for conservation.
“Smart House” imdb.com
Nest Website https://store.nest.com/product/thermostat/
Alba, Davey. “New Data Shows the Nest Thermostat Can Cut Your Heat Bill by 10 Percent” Wired.com February 2, 2015
Russel, Kyle. “Nest Touts Three Studies Climaining Its Thermostat Pays For Itself In Two Years” Techcrunch.com. February 2, 2015
Tweed, Katherine. “Nest Thermostat Pays for Itself in 2 Years, Studies Find.” Greentechmedia.com. February 2, 2015