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Alphabet-owned Nest is partnering with SolarCity to keep your ‘Time of Use’ electric bill down


Energy companies in California are set to move customers over to Time of Use plans over the next couple of years, and that’s going to mean that you — the California resident — will be paying for energy based on its exact price at any given moment. Some times of the day are cheaper than others. This is great for some, but it’s going to mean that many are going to have to more closely monitor their energy use if they want to stay in budget.

Nest today has announced that it is bringing a feature, called Time of Savings, to the Nest Thermostat to help you manage your Time of Use energy usage and keep your costs to a minimum…

To do this, energy companies are going to share your electricity rates — for those that sign up of course — with Nest, allowing your thermostat to know when electricity is most expensive and adjust its behavior accordingly. The thermostat will maybe start cooling your house off a little earlier than usual, or it could adjust the temps a degree or two to save a little money during peak times.

Sign up for the program and your energy company will share your electricity rates with Nest. Then your Nest Learning Thermostat will try to use less electricity when it’s most expensive. Simple. So if your thermostat sees that you like to cool things down at noon, but that’s when electricity prices spike, it might start cooling the house at 11:30 when energy’s still cheap. Or it can slightly adjust the temperature when you’re in peak pricing periods – never more than a degree or two – so you can save some cash while staying comfortable.

To make this happen, Nest of course has to partner with electric companies. For launch, the subsidiary of Alphabet has partnered with SolarCity and is working with “Southern California Edison and other energy partners” to bring the feature to more homes in the future. If this all sounds great to you, you can learn more about Time of Savings, sign up now, or look into signing up for electric through SolarCity here.

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Avatar for Stephen Hall Stephen Hall

Stephen is Growth Director at 9to5. If you want to get in touch, follow me on Twitter. Or, email at stephen (at) 9to5mac (dot) com, or an encrypted email at hallstephenj (at) protonmail (dot) com.