Google is making it easy for people to conserve energy this summer by rolling out a free version of Seasonal Savings for all Nest thermostat owners. Previously, the feature was only available for customers of utilities with Seasonal Savings programs, according to a Google blog post.
Seasonal Savings works as an “energy monitor,” making slight schedule changes to help people automatically conserve energy without noticing major temperature fluctuations. “By adjusting your schedule just a fraction of a degree each day, users save energy while staying comfortable,” wrote Krishan Gupta, a Nest product manager. “These little changes can really add up—the average customer sees 3 to 5 percent in energy savings on their home’s heating and cooling systems.”
The company is also partnering with energy firms on Rush Hour Rewards to allow thermostat owners to automatically adjust the temperature of their homes during peak energy usage times. “When there’s a peak in energy demand, it makes providing energy more expensive, less reliable, and less environmentally friendly for energy companies,” Gupta explained. “When you sign up, your Nest thermostat will make changes to the temperature in your home on a handful of those peak energy usage afternoons during the summer. This lowers the demand while still keeping you comfortable.”
The feature will roll out to all Nest thermostat owners in the United States and Canada (except Quebec) starting in June. Users will see a notification on their device asking if they want to opt in.