Nest Learning Thermostat

By Albert Ornelas

Saving energy is a good idea for both REALTORS® and their clients. This Nest product learns the temperatures you like and programs itself to maintain them in about a week.

This “green” issue of OC REALTOR® is focused on ways REALTORS® and their clients can save energy and money. Because saving energy and saving money go hand and hand, we have chosen to highlight a gadget that can save “green” in more ways than one.

The third-generation Nest Learning Thermostat has been proven to save an average of 10 to 12 percent on heating bills and 15 percent on cooling bills. This thermostat has been programmed to learn the temperatures used in the first week after its installation and then to maintain these temperatures until it is reset. With the Nest app, Wi-Fi users can change the temperature setting from a smartphone, tablet, or laptop. The display includes a Leaf that guides users in choosing temperatures that save energy. And a setting known as Farsight senses when you arrive home and adjusts the temperature to your preferred setting.

The thermostat must be connected to a Wi-Fi Internet account, which you or your professional installer can do. In addition, you will need to create a free Nest account at Once both accounts are in place, the userfriendly Nest app enables you to use a smartphone, tablet, or laptop to adjust the temperature of your home from any room or to adjust the thermostat setting to heat or cool as you drive home from work.

It is the Nest Leaf inside the Nest Learning Thermostat that saves energy and money. The Leaf can help you choose temperatures that are a little lower or a little higher than those to which you are accustomed. You can help teach the Leaf to save energy through the Energy History stored inside the thermostat. Shortly after the thermostat is installed, it becomes sensitive to your habits, such as turning the temperature down in winter before you go to bed or before you leave the house. Your Nest Thermostat will remember these changes and repeat them to help you save energy and money. Simply setting the thermostat one degree lower during winter or one degree higher during summer can save up to 5 percent on your heating or cooling bill. And you can see the results of teaching your Nest Thermostat good habits in your Energy History.

The Nest Learning Thermostat also includes a setting called Farsight, which can display additional information, such as the time, the current room temperature, the weather, or your thermostat’s target temperature. Once the Farsight setting has been enabled, the thermostat can sense your presence in the room where it is installed from up to twenty feet away. This setting uses a high-resolution screen, giving you the ability to check the time and target temperature from across the room. Should you need to adjust the room temperature, you can exit the Farsight setting by turning the ring around the outside of the thermostat and then use the thermostat to reset the temperature.

The Nest Learning Thermostat was introduced in 2011 as the premiere product for the Nest Labs (commonly known as Nest) in Palo Alto, California. The mission of this company is to create programmable, self-learning, sensor-driven, Wi-Fi-enabled thermostats, smoke detectors, and security systems. The company has been working to simplify and enhance the quality of its product lines, which include thermostats, smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, and security cameras.

Nest products continued to receive rave reviews even after the company was acquired by Google in 2014. In June 2016, Marwan Fawaz replaced Tony Fadell as chief executive officer. The move came after the addition of hundreds of employees with no new products to show for it. While the Nest Learning Thermostat and Nest Protect Smoke Detector are not new, they have been updated; and the Nest Cam is a rebranded Dropcam, according to

A bio provided by Nest says that Fawaz repositioned the Motorola Home business “to streamline products, services and cost structure, resulting in strong financial performance in 2012 and a significantly improved capability to win new business. He successfully led the transaction process to divest of the business unit to Arris for $2.35 billion in 2013.”

The initial investment for the Nest Learning Thermostat, which is available both online and at most major home improvement and retail stores, averages about $250. But rebates are available to help cover this cost. If you install a smart thermostat and enroll it in the Save Power Days Program, you will receive a $75 bill credit if you are a Southern California Edison customer, a $50 bill credit if you are a Southern California Gas customer, and up to $60 a year when you save energy on Save Power Days.

For more information about the third-generation Nest Learning Thermostat or other Nest products, visit For information about the Save Power Days Program or to sign up, go to