Google’s Nest Thermostat is a smart device, yes, but over the past few years, the company has done its best to shift the public perception and marketing of this gadget to be more ‘thoughtful’. Using AI and machine learning, it has done a lot to make it more ‘considerate’, so to speak, and take into account the user’s actions and habits.
A new initiative announced by Google regarding its sustainability efforts today goes yet another step forward with those perceptions. Now, your Nest Thermostat will become wiser with Nest Renew – a service that makes it easy to support a clean energy future, right from home.”
Nest has helped people save over 80 billion kWh of energy in their houses since it launched its thermostat by intelligently and efficiently heating or cooling indoor environments, but Nest Renew will see to it that this number goes way up in the future with a feature called Energy Shift. This feature will attempt to shift your device’s hours of operation to work with clean energy from solar and wind farms instead of fossil fuel-based methods like coal and gas.
Throughout any given day, your home operates on a mix of both based on what’s available and what is determined to be necessary, but Google wants to take advantage of electricity providers’ tim-of-use rates (costs vary by time of day) so your home will work on less expensive energy times while remaining comfortable. You’ll always have the ability to manually adjust your thermostat too.
Energy Shift works with your thermostat to help you automatically shift your heating and cooling electricity usage to times when your grid is cleaner, without sacrificing comfort. It can also adjust your thermostat’s schedule to run even more efficiently in both summer and winter.The Keyword
Monthly impact reports will put those numbers into context for you, showing you how much you’ve changed the planet as an individual and as a community. More specifically, it shows you when the electricity coming into your home is cleaner and when it’s not so clean, so you can decide when to run appliances and so on.
Remember those Nest leaf icons on your thermostat display? Well, Renew is continuing the trend of using those to calculate your impact. These ‘Renew Leafs’ will work hand-in-hand with the impact program to help you reach milestones and vote to direct funds from the program to a nonprofit of your choice from a list of partners across the U.S. GRID Alternatives and Elevate are two such examples, but there will be more.
These funds will go to clean energy career training or expanding access to clean energy options such as solar panels in communities across the globe. it’s crazy to think that Google has created a system by which you can directly have an effect on decisions that are made toward the treatment of the planet without leaving your couch. Some world we live in, right?
In order to support the growth of clean energy and not just the establishment of it, Nest Renew Premium – a new subscription service – will let take advantage of something called Clean Energy Match. Any estimated fossil fuel-based electricity (unclean energy) you use in your home either by accident or when it’s less convenient to use clean energy instead will be matched with renewable energy credits, or RECs.
This means that you’re directly supporting clean energy from solar and winid plants with your monthly donation to counteract your bad habits. This wouldn’t net positive, of course, but breaking even is a temporary benefit to the program compared to taking two steps backwards. In the long run, I think this could help prevent our advancement towards a carbon-free grid, so it’s a nice thing that’s been put into place.
Renew Basic will be available via invitation for free in the continential U.S. over the next few weeks, and you can sign up right now to join the waitlist, but Renew Premium will be available in only select U.S. markets before expanding outward from there slowly. Renew works with 3rd gen thermostats and Nest Thermostat E, or newer so long as you’re connected to your Google account.