Nest learning thermostat featured in Reliant’s Learn & Conserve Plan

Michael Giberson

The Nest smart thermostat made a bit of a splash when it was released (and countersplash from other energy equipment makers who said they offered similar features, and counter-countersplash from folks who said “sure, but not that worked so well for consumers,” etc., etc. We talked about Nest here, here, here and here.). Then, like other geez-whiz gadgets, they mostly disappeared from the energy tech geek press.

But Nest hasn’t really disappeared, it is only that “gee whiz” only gets you so far. Just recently Nest and Texas power retailer Reliant joined together in Reliant’s Learn & Conserve energy contract. Customers signing up for the rate get a Nest learning thermostat and a 24-month fixed price contract. Cool! (See detail at Reliant’s website; see on Nest blog.)

Of course the energy econ geek in me says, “What?? A fixed price contract??? Couldn’t they do something more interesting than that?” But what the heck, it’s a marketplace and if Reliant isn’t more creative with their rate design that just means that there is opportunity for others to innovate. In the meantime the energy econ geek in me says, “Cool!”

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4 thoughts on “Nest learning thermostat featured in Reliant’s Learn & Conserve Plan

  1. Don’t get so hung up on the dynamic pricing at the retail level. Yes, they could do better than the fixed retail price with this. But a fixed price term product with a modest discount for the ability to dial the thermostat back a few degrees during very high wholesale prices on hot summer days would work just fine and is probably much easier to implement and market at the mass market retail level.

  2. I didn’t actually say “dynamic pricing,” only suggested something more interesting than a fixed price. Still, this is an okay move that customers and Reliant will learn from, and perhaps Reliant will gain information and confidence allowing it to take more interesting steps later.

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