Nest Labs recently announced a new feature of its Nest Thermostat that enables homeowners to take better advantage of energy providers Time of Use rate plans. Dubbed the Time of Savings, the new feature will automatically adjust the thermostat so that less electricity is consumed to the heat or cool the home while energy prices are the highest. The service shares customers’ TOU rate info with Nest, that then auto-adjusts itself to reduce energy consumption during the most expensive periods. Nest will only change temperature by a degree or two, though, and users will have to tweak it themselves if they want to save more money.
Under the terms of the partnership, qualifying SolarCity customers will receive a Nest thermostat for free when they go solar, helping them to save energy and money, according to the companies. Additionally, SolarCity customers who have a ToU rate plan and a Nest thermostat will be enrolled in Time of Savings plans. That set of different energy prices throughout the day – cheaper at night and more expensive in afternoon, and it switches on weekends. These plans also aim to eliminate the hassle of keeping track of fluctuating electricity prices by taking care of it automatically.
The thermostat will display a green gear icon when Time of Savings is active, and this info will also be displayed in the energy history report that Nest provides to its customers. According to Nest, the thermostat never adjust the target temperature by ‘more than a degree or two—just enough to keep customers comfortable while saving money.’ Customers can be free to manually adjust the temperature at any time.