But that's the point: Nest is trying to make a version of its thermostat with appeal beyond the gadget-loving crowd. But at $249, the device's price was too steep for many home owners, even with the promise of saving money on energy bills. But if you ask Nest, not enough people own them. Not an upgrade to the current model, which they think works just fine. The effect makes the screen look grey when the display is off. They wanted a thermostat that did thermostat things, invisibly and well. Instead, it views the Thermostat E as a way to open up to a new batch of consumers who are potentially more price-conscious, and who don't necessarily want a flashy screen on their wall.
It'll certainly look at home on a white wall. The small, round screen-this time made from polycarbonate rather than aluminum-sits behind a polarized filter to avoid the bright light catching your eye. The new model is also still eligible for all of the same discount programs as the flagship model, including Nest's own Rush Hour Rewards program, which pays enrolled users $40 annually for automatically helping to reduce the electrical grid during periods of high usage, as well as any additional programs that might be available through local energy companies. Like the Learning Thermostat, the lower-priced device can keep tabs of your habits to learn your schedule through your activities, whether you're home, and if you adjust the temperature manually.
The two models, Thermostat and Thermostat E, work virtually identically.
"We needed to design a new thermostat that was more approachable and simpler - to look at, to install, to use - but saves the same amount of energy and is more affordable", Veron said. Nest says it's saved almost 14 billion kWh of energy so far, and found in a study that it shaves 12 to 15 percent off most customers' heating bills. "Fast forward six years: Nest owners have saved more than 14 billion kWh - the equivalent of providing electricity to all the homes in New York State for over 100 days - and now we are bringing lovely design and proven energy saving capabilities into even more homes". That requires a lot of new Nest customers. Now the company wants people to forget it's even there. It's called the Nest Thermostat E, and it can do almost everything the regular Nest Thermostat can do, except it's cheaper and housed in a brand new design - one that's intentionally much, much plainer. They could have swapped the easy cable-clamp mechanism for a screw-on cap, or ripped out the processor and done away with all the machine-learning stuff altogether. Maxime Veron, Nest's director of product marketing, told us this is meant to simplify the experience, but if users still want to use the auto-adapt feature they can.
The new thermostat also appears to work the same way as the Learning Thermostat. The cover's in the box, and he's ultimately happy about that. Founder and longtime CEO Tony Fadell departed a little over a year ago, and questions about the company's performance have dogged Nest since then. But the company has moved slowly. Since then, the smart-device maker, now a subsidiary of Google parent Alphabet, has drawn widespread criticism for being slow to revamp its product line.
Nest was able to cut costs entirely on the hardwire side.
Nest gets credit for building up the connected home market while so many others have failed.