Summer is officially here, which means the weather is warming up and the days are getting longer across much of North America. These warm days bring a lot of fun activities like trips to the park and grilling out in the backyard, but it also means you will probably see a spike in your energy bill as your thermostat tries to keep your home comfortable. To combat this problem, Google has announced a free version of the Seasonal Savings feature for all Nest thermostat owners that could save you an average of 3 to 5 percent on your energy bill.
If you haven’t heard of this feature, that is because it was previously only available for customers of utility companies that offered a Season Savings program. “It acts like a personal energy monitor, making small schedule tweaks to help you save energy and lower your bill, without you even noticing,” said Krishan Gupta, a Google Nest product manager.
Google says the Seasonal Savings feature is rolling out on all Nest thermostats in the U.S and Canada (except Quebec) starting this month. When it is available, you will receive a notification on our device and in the Nest app asking if you would like to opt-in. After that, your thermostat will start adjusting your schedule and you will start saving money.
Along with some other saving tips, Google also mentioned the Rush Hour Rewards program that is available for some Nest owners. To be honest, I wasn’t familiar with this program but after a couple of clicks, I was enrolled in a Rush Hour Rewards program with my energy provider. “When there’s a peak in energy demand, it makes providing energy more expensive, less reliable, and less environmentally friendly for energy companies,” Gupta explained in the blog post.
When you sign up for a Rush Hour Rewards program, your Nest thermostat will adjust the temperature in your home on a handful of peak energy usage afternoons when everyone is getting home and turning on their air conditioning at the same time. These adjustments help to lower the demand on the energy grid and you will likely not even notice the difference. You can learn more and see if you qualify for any incentives by providing your zip code on this website.