PALO ALTO, Calif. — Nest Labs, Inc. today shared results from three energy-savings studies that indicated, on average, the Nest Learning Thermostat™ saved customers about 10 percent to 12 percent on their heating bills and 15 percent on their cooling bills. This translates to an estimated average savings of $131 to $145 a year, according to the company.
The Nest Learning Thermostat is designed to learn and remember what temperatures the user likes, create a custom schedule for his or her home, and automatically turn itself down when he or she is away. The three studies mark the first large-scale energy-savings research of the Nest Thermostat and demonstrate the energy-savings potential of properly programmed thermostats — a measurement that has been elusive and an area of controversy, the company concedes.
“Nest is committed to being the industry leader in measuring and sharing energy-saving results,” said Ben Bixby, general manager of energy services, Nest. “While we always knew that the Nest Learning Thermostat helps people save energy, we now have independent, third-party evidence of how much it can save. With this information in hand, customers can feel even more confident about investing in a Nest Thermostat, and our energy partners can be assured that energy-efficiency programs involving Nest will have an impact.”
The studies looked at customers across the U.S. and analyzed their energy use before and after they installed the Nest Thermostat. Of the independently funded, designed, and evaluated studies, one was performed by Energy Trust of Oregon and the other by Vectren, a utility company based in Indiana. A third study was performed by Nest using a national sample of Nest customers who had also enrolled in Nest’s MyEnergy service across 41 states.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and a number of thermostat manufacturers, including Nest, have at various times said that programmable thermostats could save customers 20 percent on their heating and cooling bills. In most cases, the calculations are based on an assessment of how much a well-programmed thermostat could save versus a thermostat left at a constant temperature at all times. However, few programmable thermostats run an optimized schedule that accurately reflects the occupants’ schedules, and users with a manual thermostat often make temperature adjustments at various points as opposed to maintaining a constant temperature. Due in part to the difficulty of getting real savings data, in 2009, programmable thermostats lost their Energy Star rating.
The Nest Learning Thermostat learns about the user and his or her home to program itself to save energy, and, with software updates, it continues to improve its energy-saving abilities. The Nest automatically adapts to changes by sensing how long it takes to heat up or cool down the home and whether the user is home or away. To help Nest customers get the most out of their thermostats, Nest has published a list of recommendations here. And starting Feb. 9, for the first time, customers can speak with a live Nest Energy Advisor, who will provide customized guidance for achieving maximum savings from the Nest Thermostat.
To learn more about the three studies, download the Nest Thermostat energy-savings white paper here.
Publication date: 2/2/2015