All Financial Wisdom
Nest – A Quick Way to Save Money and Improve your Home
This past weekend, I helped my older brother move into his new condo. I helped him set up some Ikea furniture and mount his TV. As we were discussing his condo, he mentioned that he didn't like his thermostat. He didn't like how long it took to program or how difficult it was to update and change the schedule. His thermostat was old, but still working. It is only used for heat for his baseboard heating system throughout the condo.
His pain about his old thermostat made me think about energy efficiency and what I can do to help him get a new thermostat, save money, and live more comfortably. I ended up convincing him to buy a Nest Learning Thermostat and found a savings of $150 in rebates and giftcards while also saving energy. He is ultimately getting the latest Nest Thermostat for only $99, which he should earn back after this winter in energy savings. I installed the Nest and detailed my quick and painless experience below.
This made me think of the Nest Learning Thermostat. It is a programmable and wifi-enabled thermostat and is a great fit for him since he can control it all from his iPhone. On his way home from work, he can make sure the temperature of his Condo is nice and toasty before he arrives. He can also decide to hang out with friends after work and can turn off the heat from his phone. He can check to see if the heat is low and still working if he goes on vacation or gets stuck traveling.
In my quick little search for solutions, I came across this great site, DSIREusa.org. It is a database managed by the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. It contains a very comprehensive list of rebates and credits for energy improvements throughout the country. You can search by clicking on your particular state, or you can type in your zip code.
I clicked on my state, which is also my brother's state, and quickly went through the 50+ rebates and credit programs to find this particular rebate through GasNetworks.com. This rebate is for programmable and for Wifi-enabled thermostats.
Using this rebate, my brother could buy a new wifi-enabled and programmable thermostat and receive a $100 Visa giftcard as a rebate for it.
There are independent scientific studies that show that Nest users can save between 10-12% on average on heating bills. With the average heating bills during the winter being about $200, the Nest Learning Thermostat should save my brother at least $80 in heating over the next four months, conservatively. If you factor in the energy savings, the Nest would ultimately be priced at $69, with 100% return in about a year.
You can check out how much a Nest Learning Thermostat can save you by using Nest's handy Personalized Savings Calculator.
Now what makes this even sweeter, I just checked Amazon's listing of the Nest Learning Third Generation Thermostat, and they have priced at $249 with a free $50 amazon gift card. Isn't that great? Click here to go straight to Amazon and check it out yourself.
With just the gas rebate and the free giftcard, the Nest Learning Thermostat is effectively priced at $99. Factor in the savings he will receive over this winter, and he is already breaking even after the first cold month.
*Update, unfortunately, this free $50 Amazon gift card offer has ended, but the rebates and the savings from the energy savings have not.
You may want to see if your heating or cooling system works with Nest. To do so, check out Nest's support page and their compatibility checker.
I just installed the Nest Learning Thermostat (3rd Generation) for my brother. The installation process is very simple. Nest provides very well detailed instructions, a screwdriver, screws, and a simple back plate. No additional wiring or setup is required if you already have a thermostat.
Please check out my other post, How to Install a Nest Thermostat and Start Saving for more tips on how to install and setup one.
If you have any problems, Nest has certified installers that can come and help install one. You can click here, and you can be redirected to the Nest Pro site to enter your location to find certified installers.
What is your experience with Nest Learning Thermostats?
Across the Generations:
http://www.dsireusa.org/ - This is where you can find energy saving credits and rebates quickly and effectively for your state and region.
https://nest.com/downloads/press/documents/energy-savings-white-paper.pdf - Here is a white paper explaining some of the benefits of replacing your old thermostat, with a new Nest wifi-enabled and programmable thermostat.
https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/nest-app/id464988855?mt=8 - This is the Nest App from the iTunes App store. It is a free app that works with all of your Nest devices allowing you to see and control them.