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!”