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Nest Renew brings renewable energy closer to your smart thermostat

Headlining Google’s sustainability event this week was the announcement of a new service called Nest Renew. This free upgrade will enable a feature called Energy Shift, which aims to make small tweaks to your home’s heating and cooling to better utilize available renewable energy.

Solar power waxes and wanes as the day goes by, and energy providers adjust electrical rates for time of use accordingly. Energy Shift will be able to, for example, automatically turn your heat up a little earlier in the day than it normally would in order to take advantage of abundant (and thus cheaper) solar power on the grid at the time.

You can earn more of the familiar Nest Leafs by letting Energy Shift do its thing. With them, you’ll be able to vote on nonprofits for Nest’s Energy Impact Program to invest in. Partners like GRID Alternatives and Elevate are already on board.

An interesting aspect of this program is Nest Renew Premium. For $10 per month, Nest will estimate how much of your power is coming from a dirty source like coal or gas, and invest in equivalent green energy credits. This is a kind of carbon offset specific to electricity generation. Right now, this Clean Energy Match would go to the Bethel Wind project, and eventually to the Roseland Solar project.

Reviewing Nest thermostat power savings.

You can keep tabs on the impact of Nest Renew through a console, and figure out for yourself what times are best to benefit from renewable energy availability. Nest Renew will offer regular challenges to make additional green energy choices around the home, like using cold water in the wash.

Nest Renew will be available by invite only to folks in the continental U.S. starting in “the coming weeks.” Nest Renew Premium will have a smaller launch in select U.S. markets. If you’re interested and already have a 3rd-gen Nest Learning Thermostat, Nest Thermostat E, or the newest Nest Thermostat, you can sign up now.

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Simon Sage
Simon has been publishing in tech since before the first iPhone was released. When he's not busy lighting a candle for the…
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