How the Nest Learning Thermostat Saves You Money
If you want to save energy, it’s best to start with your thermostat – a device that controls half of your energy bill.
According to Natural Resources Canada, a huge chunk of the average Canadian home’s energy bill goes to space heating (63%) and space cooling (1%). Considering the Nest Learning Thermostat to save energy is a step in the right direction as this device controls your home’s cooling and heating systems.
Two independent studies, one conducted in Oregon by the Energy Trust and another study conducted in Indiana by Vectren Energy, showed that the Nest Learning Thermostat can save up to 12% of heating usage and about 15% of cooling usage in homes with central air conditioning.
In the Oregon study, Energy Trust had a contractor install Nest Learning Thermostats in 185 homes heated by heat pumps. Energy Trust then hired an independent firm to analyze the changes in the energy bills and to also ask participants about their experiences with the Nest Learning Thermostats.
The Oregon study found that the Nest Learning Thermostat users saved an average of 12% in electric heating usage, equivalent to 781 kWh per year for each home. 66% of the Oregon study participants also reported feeling more comfortable after the Nest Learning Thermostat was installed in their home.
In the Indiana study, Vectren Energy had 300 Nest Learning Thermostats installed in homes and then hired an independent group to evaluate the results.
The study showed that the Nest Learning Thermostat users had an average natural gas savings of 69 therms per year, equivalent to 12.5% of savings in heating usage. The same study also found that the Nest Learning Thermostat users had an average electricity savings of 429 kWh per year, equivalent to 13.9% savings of cooling usage.
Nest conducted a study of their own based on energy bills of their actual customers in 41 states in the U.S., before and after they had the Nest Thermostat installed. The study showed that on average the Nest Thermostat saved 10% to 12% on heating and 15% on cooling. The estimated average savings on heating and cooling systems, as a result of using Nest Thermostat, is $131 to $145 a year. Therefore, the Nest Thermostat essentially pays for itself in two years.
Since thermostat use differs based upon personal preference, the characteristics of various homes, the number of occupants in the home, the type of heating and cooling equipment and climate, your energy savings could be higher or lower than the average savings.
In February 2017, the Nest Thermostat became the first thermostat to receive the ENERGY STAR certification from the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Natural Resources Canada promotes products that have an ENERGY STAR certification by the EPA.
“ENERGY STAR certified products meet strict technical specifications for energy performance – tested and certified,” Natural Resources Canada said. “They save energy without compromising performance in any way. Typically, an ENERGY STAR certified product is in the top 15 to 30 percent of its class for energy performance. Saving energy saves you money and reduces your impact on the environment.”
Nest estimated that the Nest Learning Thermostat saved 21,131,543 kWh of energy in homes from 2011 to March 23, 2018. Nest’s calculation is based on the amount of energy their customers would have used if they hadn’t purchased a Nest Thermostat and just left their old programmable thermostats at a constant temperature.
How the Nest Learning Thermostat Works
Prior to the Nest Learning Thermostat launching, programmable thermostats were the norm – a type of thermostat where you have to manually change the temperature in order for it to rise or fall. Most people find these programmable thermostats bothersome and complicated and many don’t even bother to alter the temperature, resulting in wasted energy.
Nest found a revolutionary alternative; rather than requiring people to punch in their desired temperature throughout the day, the Nest Thermostat learns the habits of your household. Nest saves you money through the following:
1. By Learning from Your Preferences
In order for the Nest Thermostat to learn from you, begin by using it as a programmable thermostat – turning it up or down to your desired temperature at any particular time of the day – for one week. Your Nest Thermostat will then create a personalized schedule for you based on your temperature preferences for the whole week.
2. By Analyzing Your Home
Nest Thermostat learns from your home by analyzing how your home heats or cools, as no two homes are the same.
3. By Turning Itself Off
It saves energy by turning itself down when you leave the house.
You can also proactively save energy by doing the following:
- Follow the leaf feature in your Nest Thermostat monitor. This leaf feature of the Nest learns on its own how to save energy.
- Control your thermostat from anywhere via your smartphone or tablet using the Nest app.
- View how much energy you use every day through your smartphone or tablet using the Nest app. Based on your energy history, you can review which days more energy is used and determine how to use less energy.
In addition to saving you money, the Nest Thermostat also makes your family and home safe. Your Nest Learning Thermostat connects with your other smart home devices. For instance, your Nest Thermostat connects with your Nest Protect Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm, assuring you that whenever Nest Protect senses carbon monoxide, your Nest Thermostat will automatically turn off your cooling and heating systems since these are known sources of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Your Nest Thermostat can also prevent excessive cold and excessive heat in your home as it turns on cooling or heating when set limits are reached. You’ll also be notified via your smartphone or tablet whenever these safety precautions are done by your Nest Thermostat.
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