Big news from Nest today as the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) gave their Nest Learning Thermostat its long-awaited Energy Star rating. Since the EPA took away Energy Star ratings from all programmable thermostats, in 2009, the Nest Thermostat is the only thermostat in the US to have an Energy Star rating. It’s not that programmable thermostats cannot help you save energy, but the EPA lost their confidence in them when it was determined that many were too complicated to operate and others were just not being used in their programmable form. Most people just set them manually, not taking advantage of lowering the temperature at the proper times or for the appropriate period to make a true difference in fuel savings.
This situation all changes if the thermostat will do the ‘adjusting’ on its own, which is exactly how the Nest Learning Thermostat works. Nest was confident that their thermostat was a way to reduce energy consumption. Nest claims that independent studies show that their Nest Thermostat can save customers between 10 to 12-percent with their heating bills and up to 15-percent for A/C bills. Nest estimated an annual savings of $131 to $145 – meaning your Nest could pay for itself in less than two years. The Energy Star program now recognizes this fact, and it has granted the Nest Thermostat its coveted rating. This rating should help increase sales of the device when customers see the Energy Star symbol on the package. Customers will also know that the device can pay for itself in less than two years and that it is easy to operate and can learn on its own.
Google purchased Nest Labs back in 2014 for about $3 billion and had not done as well as expected. The idea was to get a customer into Nest products and keep them there; however, they needed to come out with other products to keep people hooked on them. The Internet of Things (IoT) is heating up with Samsung and LG working on all kinds of products. Nest does make a few other products besides thermostats, such as smoke alarms and home security cameras. In September, they announced their Nest Cam Outdoor – an internet connected outdoor security camera designed to exist in the outdoor elements. Nest continues to make updates to its products, and while expensive, they do work.