I wrote about cutting home heating costs by making good use of your home thermostat recently. Lo and behold, now there’s some really good news on the horizon, fresh from the fertile imagination of the ex-Apple tech guru Tony Fadell. So what’s the story?
Having left Apple, where he was involved with innovating the splendid iPod and iPhone, Fadell decided to build a new family home in Lake Tahoe. He wanted to create the greenest home possible, and in the process discovered that domestic thermostats had remained much the same for the past three decades. He wanted something better – much better – so he set out to dream up exactly that: a home thermostat unlike any other, with impeccable environmental credentials.
Fadell’s innovation uses algorithms and sensors to remember the levels of warmth you prefer. You can create a customised schedule for your home and use your smartphone, tablet or computer to control it remotely. It’s beautifully simple with a nice, big dial instead of a load of fiddly, techie buttons. And it’s a great looking piece of kit, too.
It’s called the NEST Learning Thermostat and it’s designed to do a great job for at least a decade. Upgrades are delivered via software, not hardware, so extra capability can be added easily without hassle to the end customer. One upgrade is already in the pipeline, providing an energy report that highlights clearly how much energy you’re consuming compared to the previous month. It can even compare your consumption to your neighbours’.
Obviously it’s a US product, so I’ve just emailed the company to find out whether it’s compatible with British heating systems. As soon as I find out, I’ll let you know. I hope so, since Tony and I have already done everything in our power to cut energy use off our own bat and could do with some seriously good technical support to help us save the maximum possible amount!
In the meantime, here’s a link to the NEST Learning Thermostat website.