Devices like the Nest promise to make our homes smarter and more efficient. But how much money is the Nest really saving you, and is it worth the cost of installation? Nest this week published the results of an extensive study that it conducted to figure out that very fact.
The study was done with the help of MyEnergy, a utility tracking and analysis firm that Nest bought in 2013. Nest performed analysis on the electrical use of 624 households across 39 different states in the USA. The results showed that electricity savings averaged 585 kWh per year, or 17.5% of a home’s pre-Nest HVAC usage.
The company also performed a similar study for natural gas usage and found significant savings there, too. The analysis looked at 735 homes throughout 36 states. Natural gas savings were found to average about 56 therms per year, or 9.5% of pre-Nest heating usage. Not as significant as the 17.5% for electrical, but still significant.
To get the actual dollar amount for those savings, Nest took the most recent average U.S. residential electric and gas prices in the USA, calculated the savings for each and combined them for a figure of just over $145 per year.
That’s not to say you’ll see the same savings. Even if this test were done across Canada and not the USA. Even Nest admits that measuring the energy savings afforded by one of its systems is a difficult task. You can’t compare pre- and post-Nest use or cost without taking into account changes that may occur from one year to the next. Just like a colder winter or a hotter summer will impact your energy bill, so too will one of your kids moving out, your starting to work from home one day a week, or any other change in day-to-day routine.
What’s clear is that there are savings to be had, and if you’re among the average, Nest says your smart thermostat will have paid for itself within two years (it’s priced at $250 USD).