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Energy

The Real Facts

The Real Facts

At Nest, we’re focused on helping you save energy and shrink your monthly bills. We’re not focused on comparing ourselves to others. It’s just not our style.

But we’re also big on honesty. So when someone tells a story about us that’s misleading, we feel we owe it to you to set the record straight.

The other day, a company called EcoFactor cited an NV Energy report and made the claim that their consumer energy services are much more effective and reduce energy usage more than anyone else—including Nest.

Now, competition is great, and so are many of the companies working to help solve our energy problem. But spreading misinformation doesn’t solve problems or help you save energy. So we want to straighten a few things out.

EcoFactor ran a study in Las Vegas where they helped customers cut down on air conditioning during the hottest days of the summer. In EcoFactor’s press release about the results of the study, they made two inaccurate claims about their performance compared to Nest’s:

EcoFactor claim #1 - Demand Response:

“EcoFactor delivered more than twice the load shed claimed by Nest”

EcoFactor says they helped customers reduce peak energy consumption by 2.37 kW per thermostat – supposedly twice as much as those customers could have saved with Nest’s Rush Hour Rewards program, which helps you get money back from your utility company for lowering your energy usage on days when a lot of people are using a lot of energy.

The real story

  • EcoFactor’s evaluation result of 2.37 kW demand load shift was based on the single hour with the largest impact. But results should be based on how much energy is shifted over all of the energy “rush hours,” not just the best-performing hour out of 56 hours. It’s like comparing the points a basketball player scored in the best quarter of the best game to another player’s stats over an entire season. Not the most accurate picture.

  • If we take EcoFactor’s demand shift data and compare it under similar time periods and weather conditions as Nest savings data, we see a different story: Nest data from Austin and EcoFactor data from Las Vegas both show comparable results of 1.3 kW load reduction during energy Rush Hours.

EcoFactor Claim #2 - Overall Energy Savings:

“EcoFactor’s 11 percent reduction in AC usage… translated to roughly $100 per home in annual savings. In its marketing materials, Nest has claimed a 4.7 percent reduction in AC in 2013.”

When looking at overall energy savings for AC, Ecofactor claimed to save people more than twice as much energy cooling their homes compared to Nest.

The real story

  • EcoFactor compares their 11% reduction in AC usage to a Nest study highlighting a 4.7% reduction in AC use. What they fail to mention is that the Nest study was about a single Nest feature - Seasonal Savings. In reality, Seasonal Savings is just one of many Nest features - like Airwave, Auto-Schedule and Auto-Away - that can help save energy and shrink your energy bill.

At Nest, we regularly publish white papers to explain our methodology and findings related to energy savings, and are thorough in our analyses. Here are a few highlights from Nest white papers relevant to the Nest Thermostat:

  • Customers in Southern California saved an average of 1.16 kWh per day or 11.3% of AC-related energy usage after installing a Nest Thermostat.
    Source: Nest Learning Thermostat US Efficiency white paper
  • In the UK, depending on a user’s house, climate, existing schedule and which features they use, the savings on their heating bill may range from 4% to 29%.
    Source: Nest Learning Thermostat UK Efficiency Simulation white paper
  • Schedule shifts due to Seasonal Savings resulted in a 4.7% average reduction in AC runtime.
    Source: Nest Seasonal Savings white paper
  • Load was reduced an average of 55.1% for an average of 1.18 kW per device.
    Source: Nest Rush Hour Rewards white paper

Every single day at Nest, we’re focused on keeping you comfortable, saving energy, and reducing your monthly bill. And we’ll keep doing everything we can to deliver on that promise.

Article modified for clarity