With the new Carbon Tax having already taken effect last January and Kathleen Wynne’s ever rising hydro rates (Ontario is now #1 ahead of Hawaii in North America), Durham residents are starting to feel the pinch. Soaring fuel and hydro charges are not only putting huge pressure on homeowner’s budgets, but they are also causing many residents to rethink strategies on how to limit and reduce these enormous burdens on families.
Nest Learning Thermostats, a Google innovation, are beginning to have a significant impact on the utility bills of Durham residents. These smart devices are designed to learn your family usage tendencies and react accordingly. The Nest will learn how to keep your family comfortable when at home and how to save and reduce your utility bills when you are not. Although not the cheapest product on the market ($329 retail), it does come with a 5 year warranty and is packed with enough innovation and technological advances that will recoup its initial out of pocket expense in no time. Here are some features that make the Nest an excellent way to combat those skyrocketing fuel and hydro bills.
- Enable “Auto-Away”. This is the single most effective feature of the Nest. Your Nest will learn when you are at home and when you are not. When you are not, the Nest will lower your thermostat settings so that you are saving money. Nest Sense™ is a combination of sensors and algorithms that determines whether or not you are home. Eventually, it will create a schedule for itself that it uses to control the temperature in your home depending on whether or not you are there. Huge potential savings here! If this feature isn’t enough for you, there is a Nest Scheduler that lets you manually take control and set your own schedule. And you can even control it with your phone away from home. Wouldn’t that be great for say the cottage?
- Look for the Leaf. This is an easy way to know that you are saving energy and in turn, money. The Nest will encourage you to continually save energy and improve your home’s efficiency. You will the Leaf on your thermostat when you have set a temperature that is helping to save energy. The more often you see the Leaf, the more money is staying in your pocket.
- Energy Usage History. With Nest software and Apps, you can view a historical usage of energy in your home. You will be able to see what times of day energy consumption is at its peak and even what days are high or low consumption. All of this information will better inform you and enable you to make changes to your energy consumption habits.
- Constant change. Perhaps the most impressive feature of the Nest is that it is constantly changing. By having access to the internet and your Postal Code, your Nest knows what the weather is like outside. Therefore it knows to adjust accordingly. Depending on how well insulated your home is, the Nest will learn what temperature is optimal for your home. Nest will also measure the humidity in your home and use this information to program the most comfortable temperature (different levels of humidity affect the way cooling and heating work).
All in all, the Nest is an excellent way to make your home a smart and efficient energy user. With families in the Durham Region facing surging energy costs, a product like the Nest just makes sense.