Is a Nest worth the money?

One year ago I bought a Nest thermostat. Out of the need to justify the $250 cost to my wife, I analyzed one year with and one year without the Nest. Below are my findings.

How to read this graphic:

  • Compared July 2011 thru July 2012 to July 2012 thru JUly 2013
  • I extracted the Kilowatt (KW) usage from each month
  • I used the mean from the average high and average low from each month then took the difference. So if the mean temperature in June 2013 was 91 and in 2012 it was 90 then the difference was “1”.
    • The temperature isn’t part of any equation. It’s just meant as an indicator of why the usage may have been different
  • The cost difference is based on the actual cost from month to month, so “$-81.75” means I paid that much less compared to the same month in the previous year.
  • The graphs speak for themselves. The values are less erratic in the Post Nest months … more predictable and less costly.

So I saved $326.58. Factor in the $250 cost, my actual one-year savings are $76.58 and every year after this will be pure savings.

Nest

43 Replies to “Is a Nest worth the money?”

  1. Hey there! I noticed that our temperatures for the year were similar and then noticed you are also in Denton, TX! We just bought 2 Nests and I am not yet sold on the savings. Are you stuck with CoServ by chance, or do you have freedom of choice per energy provider?

    1. I don’t have a choice because within the Denton city limits you have to use Denton Municipal. That said, our rates beat all other competitors so it’s not a bad deal (they don’t have to spend any money on advertising, for one). I’d love to see some stats on multi-Nest homes … may not be the same dramatic results.

      1. We are in Savannah, so we are stuck with Co-serv, however they also brag that they have the lowest rates in the metroplex. I really do not believe it to be true but I have just started using our Nests so it is still fine tuning.

  2. I know this is totally lazy but would you share the spreadsheet you used to make this? It would really speed up my own similar analysis. I suspect we are spending even MORE since we got the Nest but would love to prove my suspicions incorrect!

  3. What type of thermostat did you have before the switch to nest? If you had a programmable one was it well programmed, or was it left alone to do its thing. Would be much more impressive if you switched from a well programmed thermostat.

        1. Buying a Nest thermostat one was of the best tech purchases I’ve ever made. Saving energy? Check. Being able to change the house temperature from the bed? Check.

  4. Hey just saw this post, very impressive results! We have a 5-2 programmable ‘stat but my wife is a stay-at-home-mom who is in and out a couple of times a day. I’ve been wanting to get a 2nd-gen Nest for awhile now, especially with that auto-away feature and how it uses the internet to know what the weather is doing outside. Hopefully I’ll be able to get one soon.

  5. I was considering a Nest but we only have central heat, not central air. We have window A/C units. I wonder if this would be worthwhile for just winter usage here in NY.

  6. So you are trying to convince your wife that you were right using facts, logic and statistics?

    Let us know how that works out for you.

        1. That’s how I’d like to think the comment was intended. But there’s a terrible stereotype that women are irrational, and it sucks to have to wonder if your interpretation is right, or if the joke is playing into that stereotype.

        1. Oh, don’t get me wrong – I want to find this funny, but I like laughing with people, not at them. It just sucks that we live in a culture where many people believe women are less rational than men, and where you can’t know how a joke like this was intended.

          1. White knight pls go. You’re not defending anything people have already made up their minds about. Your interpretation is one of negativity and you ask as though you need to go around and correct other people’s behavior by asking for intentional meaning behind words because it’s not clear enough for you.

  7. What type of heating equipment does your house or apartment have? Since you are only looking at kw usage I assume you have a heat pump or electric furnace. Or maybe you have baseboard heat? What was your target temp and setback with your old thermostat and then with the Nest?

    1. It’s an all electric energy system … a newer house in Texas. Electric isn’t the best or cheapest (but it is for developers). Most of my savings came from the heating.

  8. Does anyone stay home during the day or is this based upon a significant temperature chance during the day? I ask because my wife stays home and home schools and that may negate the difference.

    1. A lot of the savings are from going to Away mode and letting the temperature swing until you’re getting back home. On the other hand, Nest has a feature called Airwave, where is knows how long your AC coils are cold for after the compressor shuts down, and can cool the house more efficiently by taking this into account.

  9. This is really great! You’ve basically given me the ammo I need to convince myself to get one.

    That said, I’m in North Texas, too, and I think we’ve had pretty mild weather (compared with last year).

  10. The Nest is pricey! I bought mine directly through their website because they offer a $100 instant rebate per unit (up to 2 units per household) if you live in New England and have a qualifying plan. (gas heating only).

  11. What is the capacity of the heating unit? Has anybody evaluated the minimum size of the heating unit and heating patterns (kWh/month) does nest provide a good return on investment.

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