The Nest Learning Thermostat

Introduced in October the tech community all but fell over themselves in appreciation of the new Nest Learning Thermostat which was designed in part by several former Apple employees and claims to be able to save you energy by learning your habits and routines.

Nest Learning Thermostat

The Palo Alto company has been provided funding from Kleiner Perkins, Google Ventures, and Al Gore’s investment fund, and with a hundred employees, created what they say is the first “learning thermostat” in the world.

Which is now available.

The Nest website is the epitome of Web 2.0, with beautiful graphics explaining why Nest matters and how it can save you on your energy bill. It provides the whole run down on the thermostat, from why they made it to how it can help you to the guts of the device.

Nest Learning Thermostat

But can it actually match up to its claims?

Over at Triple Pundit they’ve taken a good long look at the Nest, and I would recommend you go and read it as well.

According to energy efficiency specialist Ted Kidd, “Big savings are not achieved by temporary temperature reductions of the home. In fact, reducing air temperature in the home means high mass items like couches and beds get cold and stay cold. People bump thermostats to counteract the additional comfort challenge this introduces, so some setback strategies may really cost energy. And all of this approach to ‘conservation’ implies sacrifice, living with less comfort.”

In the end, article author RP Siegel gives the Nest a bit of a half-half rating:

I’m confident that the Nest Learning Thermostat will save energy, especially for users who take the time to inform themselves as to the best ways to utilize its capabilities. And I have little doubt that a robust user community will sprout up to propagate just this kind of information. And with the user feedback capability it provides, with its highly appealing interface, users will enjoy getting more involved in their home’s energy management, which is bound to be beneficial for most of the people, most of the time.

But asking the Nest thermostat is going to save the world is not really fair. However, ten, twenty years down the line, if someone were to look back and wonder how it was that they had found themselves living in a world where their home was so wonderfully automated that their energy bill was much less than those of our day, I would bet that they would see the Nest as one of the reasons why.

Not because the Nest is going to solve all our problems; as Siegel says, it simply can’t because “they are limited to the information that can pass through the standard interface.”

But this is the beginning, this is innovation, and innovation is how we get somewhere else. Give it a few years and I would bet any sort of money that I’ll be reporting on a Nest product that is ten times more efficient and powerful in its job.

So show your support by opening your wallet. Innovation needs our support, and Nest is the prime way to get started.


The Post-Standard (Syracuse, NY) August 5, 2005 Frances J. Duda July 29, 2005 Frances J. Duda, 91, of Laguna Beach, CA and formerly of Syracuse, passed away Friday July 29 at her daughter’s home in Laguna Beach. Born in Syracuse, she was a homemaker and a former communicant of the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. go to web site laguna beach ca

Survivors: a daughter, Frances Duda Reynard of Laguna Beach, CA; two sons, Carl of San Rafael, CA and Vincent of Laguna Niguel, CA; and three grandsons, John Stephen Reynard III, Brent Reynard and Tyler Reynard of Laguna Beach, CA. Her husband, Joseph, passed away in 1989. go to website laguna beach ca

Services: 8:30 a.m. Monday at the GIMINSKI-WYSOCKI FUNERAL HOME and 9 a.m. at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Interment: Sacred Heart Cemetery Geddes. Friends may call on the family from 3 to 6 p.m. Sunday at the funeral home, 1320 W. Genesee St.

Contributions: Basilica of the Sacred Heart Roof Fund, 927 Park Ave., Syracuse, NY 13204. Please sign the guest book at CAPTION(S):

Photo No credit Frances J. Duda

About the Author

I'm a Christian, a nerd, a geek, a liberal left-winger, and believe that we're pretty quickly directing planet-Earth into hell in a handbasket! I work as Associate Editor for the Important Media Network and write for CleanTechnica and Planetsave. I also write for Fantasy Book Review (, Amazing Stories, the Stabley Times and Medium.   I love words with a passion, both creating them and reading them.
  • You are right that we should support innovation, but is this the right one to support? I like the concept; however, I would like to see a system that helps to individualize the controls for different rooms (along the lines of a thermostat that works with a controller in the ducts of a centralized hvac system would be a step that I would like to see with this device).

  • Fuckyou

    created this in 2008

  • Adam Simpson

    I have found the Nest to be a fantastic tool to help homeowners decrease their electricity costs. So much so, that as a Solar Consultant I am currently giving them away to all my California clients that go solar, even when they qualify for programs that eliminate their out of pocket cost for solar.
    If you are interested in a free nest and going solar, I would be more than happy to see if your home qualifies for the available subsidies -916-740-4279 /Adam.