Nest founder: 'We don't expect people to buy a new one of these every year'

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
AI at Expand: While Nest founder Matt Rogers says his company will continue to come out with new hardware iterations of its iOS-compatible learning thermostat, the device is built for durability, and Nest doesn't expect customers to go out and buy a new model every year.

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Rogers' remarks came in the midst of a "Fireside Chat" on Saturday at Engadget's Expand conference in San Francisco, Calif. The Nest founder said that Nest, since it is meant to become a part of an owner's home, isn't like some other types of consumer electronics.


"We don't expect people to buy a new Nest every year," Rogers said. "It's not like a smartphone. We don't expect our users to do that. These things should stay for five or ten years, so we're relying a lot on software updates, going forward. We're going to have hardware updates, but a lot of our changes are going to come through software."

Rogers continued, saying that the device had been designed to meld into the overall aesthetics of a home.

"There's a reasons we didn't give this a sort of white plastic enclosure," Rogers said, explaining the aluminum body of the Nest, "we designed it to be a chameleon, where it adjusts to your home and reflects the light around your home."

rogers again


The Nest's minimalist aesthetic was a deliberate choice, Rogers said, with the design team actively choosing to leave features out.

"Doing something simply is challenging. Keeping that discipline was very challenging for all of us. We had the option to throw in a clock, so you could walk by and see what time it is. But that's something we have to fight back against every day."

Nest's thermostat showed up in Apple's online store last year, and is also available in the company's retail stores. Rogers says the opportunity for consumers to get the device in their hands is a big reason behind the company's success.

"We're pretty disruptive in this space. It's now a consumer decision, so the customer gets to check out the device in their hands."

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Rogers said that the feedback from Nest owners has been quite encouraging, and that he daily receives emails and tweets from customers telling how much money they've saved using the device. He put the total savings of the company into context toward the end of the talk.

"Since we launched, we've saved 600,000kWh," he explained. "That's enough to fly a 747 to the moon and back six times. Of course, you can't take a 747 to the moon, but, say, you could power a city for some time on the power we've saved."

Going forward, Rogers said that Nest will be coming out with further hardware iterations. The company will also be looking to continue partnering with power companies and home designers to get its learning thermostat into more homes.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 45
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    Well, duh. It's a thermostat. I wish more tech was built with this idea in mind.


     


    They have a nice model, though, whereby a family can buy one, learn it, like it, and then buy a couple more (should their HVAC system support it) and then use Nest's software to control parts of their house separately.

  • Reply 2 of 45
    takeotakeo Posts: 417member
    Waiting for it to support line voltage.
  • Reply 3 of 45
    I like it...it's one of the few electronic devices I would buy that is not made by Apple! :)
  • Reply 4 of 45
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    1) Bought two of the 2nd gen models for a dual-HVAC controlled home late last year. They are working great.

    2) The only issue is having to input the WiFI password manually the first time using the dial. The iOS app couldn't be simpler.

    3) I wonder if cheaper, relay-only sensors you mount throughout your home might help give a more accurate mapping of who's home, where they reside and when, and the temperatures within in room.
  • Reply 5 of 45
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,618member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post



    1) Bought two of the 2nd gen models for a dual-HVAC controlled home late last year. They are working great.



    2) The only issue is having to input the WiFI password manually the first time using the dial. The iOS app couldn't be simpler.



    3) I wonder if cheaper, relay-only sensors you mount throughout your home might help give a more accurate mapping of who's home, where they reside and when, and the temperatures within in room.


    I saw a standalone display of these in Lowes last week and almost picked one up myself. I'm not yet convinced of the savings tho, so what's been your experience so far on the money side?

  • Reply 6 of 45
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    gatorguy wrote: »
    I saw a standalone display of these in Lowes last week and almost picked one up myself. I'm not yet convinced of the savings tho, so what's been your experience so far on the money side?

    No idea. They were a Christmas gift for my parents home. I was informed that their power bill would list the previous year's usage but since installing them I've been told they don't. Only two full months of usage have gone by. I've also failed to get the per day usage from those month's billa so I can't evenkeep a record of it in a spreadsheet.

    I do think it's clear the savings are real. You get an intuitive system that has motion sensors that doesn't need to be adjusted. As they state in their marketing video, programmable thermostats aren't new, but they are rarely programmed and even more rarely programmed accurately.
  • Reply 7 of 45
    fyngyrzfyngyrz Posts: 61member
    Insulate your home properly, set it to a constant, comfortable temperature, and you're done. You'll save FAR more money, the entire family and all your pets will be FAR more comfortable (oo, need to pad off to the bathroom at 2 am? Too bad it's 50 bloody degrees, eh?)

    Seriously people, wake up and smell the coffee. You're paying to heat and cool the outdoors. Stop doing that. Best investment you can make in bill reduction, and unlike a thermostat that plays freeze-your-toes-at-night, the investment will pay you back the entire time you own your home.

    Start by buying a cheap thermal sensor gun, plug all the little holes and leaks. There will be plenty. Then call an insulation company and see what they can offer you. Your wallet will thank you. So will your bare feet. And you can put your sweaters away.

    Oh yeah... new construction? Contract for thicker, better insulated walls. Go overboard. It's not even that costly. Your power and gas companies will hate you for it.

  • Reply 8 of 45
    nervusnervus Posts: 17member
    Hard to say how much money I have actually saved in using a nest. But I have had the nest for just over year and just from smarter scheduling and auto away in February my power usage was 28hours less then the previous year, and this year was colder on average then last year
  • Reply 9 of 45
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    I spend hundreds, nay, thousands of dollars a year getting my eyes put back in, since I have to gouge them out every time I look at my old ugly thermostat. Should've gone with Nest.
  • Reply 10 of 45
    We are getting ready to put our house on the market, but I've made it clear our next house, I will replace the existing thermostats with these, and also get these Phillips hue lights. This and the ability to FaceTime the various Macs in my house (via LogMeIn on my iPad) and ill have a great sense of security.
  • Reply 11 of 45
    bugsnwbugsnw Posts: 716member


    Fyngryz makes an interesting point. I wonder if we just set our thermostats at 68 and left them there, wouldn't that be the most efficient? Besides the obvious lowering the heat if we are going to be gone all of February.


     


    I had two 40-gallon hot water tanks in my home (dunno why) and replaced those with a Hot Water on Demand system. My heating and stove and hot water are fueled by Propane. I couldn't stand the thought of TWO huge burners going 24/7 to heat those tanks of water.


     


    I kept a spreadsheet and my Propane use has gone down 100 gallons per year, saving me roughly $200/year. And I've been abusive, taking longer, hotter showers, just to spite Al Gore.


     


    The savings are more in years where the average price of Propane is over $2/gallon.


     


    I also bought some LED lights that I choose to leave on when I'm gone. The outdoor lights are LED as well.


     


    That's my contribution.

  • Reply 12 of 45
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    bugsnw wrote: »
    Fyngryz makes an interesting point. I wonder if we just set our thermostats at 68 and left them there, wouldn't that be the most efficient? Besides the obvious lowering the heat if we are going to be gone all of February.

    I had two 40-gallon hot water tanks in my home (dunno why) and replaced those with a Hot Water on Demand system. My heating and stove and hot water are fueled by Propane. I couldn't stand the thought of TWO huge burners going 24/7 to heat those tanks of water.

    I kept a spreadsheet and my Propane use has gone down 100 gallons per year, saving me roughly $200/year. And I've been abusive, taking longer, hotter showers, just to spite Al Gore.

    The savings are more in years where the average price of Propane is over $2/gallon.

    I also bought some LED lights that I choose to leave on when I'm gone. The outdoor lights are LED as well.

    That's my contribution.

    It might use less power and therefore be more cost effective but that isn't how I judge efficiency in this case. When it comes to heating and cooling the goal is to make the personal ideal with as little waste and effort as possible.
  • Reply 13 of 45
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member


    I wish I had some use for the Nest. I just don't. Nice concept but limited addressable market. I have three homes and only one of them even has a thermostat. I realize many people need to improve their heating and cooling efficiency but it just doesn't apply to me. Sounds like a good product but difficult to sell since it probably requires installation by professionals and does not represent itself as a must have consumer electronic device. Most people who already have a programable thermostat don't even utilize the features already available so their perceived need to replace it is very low.


     


    I love how the discussion took place during the "Fireside Chat" how ironic.

  • Reply 14 of 45
    aplnubaplnub Posts: 2,590member
    Some people's comments are uninformed. The biggest savings from the Nest comes from that last ~15 minutes of use. Whether it is your AC or Heat, it turns them off minutes prior to reaching your temperature and just runs the fan. This takes advantage of the heat for a few minutes without using the heat. So I save about an hour a day in my experience of run time. This adds up.

    The rest is easy. It's programmed. It doesn't drop to 50F in my house at night. If I leave and forget to set it to away, it will or I can via my phone. I can start it up prior to returning from home if I need too.

    I upgraded to the 2.0 because it supported dual fuel units. I don't plan on updating it again for a very long time.

    We calculated we saved about $15 per month compared to our former thermostat.
  • Reply 15 of 45
    mstone wrote: »
    I wish I had some use for the Nest. I just don't. Nice concept but limited addressable market. I have three homes and only one of them even has a thermostat. I realize many people need to improve their heating and cooling efficiency but it just doesn't apply to me. Sounds like a good product but difficult to sell since it probably requires installation by professionals and does not represent itself as a must have consumer electronic device. Most people who already have a programable thermostat don't even utilize the features already available so their perceived need to replace it is very low.

    I love how the discussion took place during the "Fireside Chat" how ironic.

    The thing is, this is not an additional thermostat, it is a replacement. If you can turn a screw 8 times, you can install this. Four wires that are color coded and already there.
  • Reply 16 of 45
    rhs3garhs3ga Posts: 1member
    I have had the Nest for almost 2 months now, and I have seen major savings in my gas bill already. Before I got the Nest I just had my thermostat set on one temp and left it there. I love being able to control it with the app even when away from home. I was already my gas usage with a spreadsheet a periodic gas meter readings prior to getting the Nest, so I was in a pretty good position to see how much I was saving on my bill after getting the Nest. The first month using the Nest my gas bill dropped $45 from the previous month even though February was colder than January. $45 savings in the first month alone was amazing!!!! My speadsheet tracks gas bills for the last 3 years, and based on the current usage I am on track to use significantly less gas on the march bill than I did a year ago. This thing is AMAZING!!
  • Reply 17 of 45
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by starbird73 View Post



     If you can turn a screw 8 times, you can install this. Four wires that are color coded and already there.


    Sure I could do it but most home owners would not attempt it. 


     


    It just seems like a hard sell to me from the perspective of a mass market consumer item.


     


    Not saying it is ineffective just that people resist change. Solar power makes a lot of sense too but for some reason people just don't want it.

  • Reply 18 of 45
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    Solar power makes a lot of sense too but for some reason people just don't want it.



     


    It's inefficient and you need too many panels for it to be a full replacement for your electricity needs. Never mind that most people don't live where they could take advantage of such a solution.

  • Reply 19 of 45
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post





    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    Solar power makes a lot of sense too but for some reason people just don't want it.



     


    It's inefficient and you need too many panels for it to be a full replacement for your electricity needs. Never mind that most people don't live where they could take advantage of such a solution.



    I would like to inform you that a full replacement is not the objective, You install panels and they feed back into the grid so you save on your electricity usage not fully replace it although you could. The pay back is around 15 years however that timeline could be shortened if electricity costs go up which they might.


     


    Also your assertion that most people do not live where solar power can be taken advantage of is just nonsense. The majority of the world's population live close to the equatorial region where solar power is very appropriate.

  • Reply 20 of 45
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,032member


    I don't remember when I bought my Nest but my first Nest Energy Report was delivered in May 2012. I have a very easy heating schedule (no AC) but the ease with which we can adjust the temperature, set it to the Away mode, or turn it off because my wife gets hot flashes makes it well worth the cost. I've used plenty of thermostats that were very difficult to configure. The Nest is easy. We drop the temperature at night because it's not required and it doesn't take very long to warm the house back up in the morning. The nice things about the Report is it gives you some reasons why your usage went up or down. This is a complete package, something no other thermostat maker does. The best thing about it is it just works so you don't have to constantly mess around with it. Sound familiar?

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