Green is cool with thermostat built by former Apple guys (Video)

| by Teena Hammond
Green is cool with thermostat built by former Apple guys (Video)

It's easy to talk about programming a thermostat in order to save energy and utility costs. But not everyone does it.

But Nest Labs, run by two former Apple guys, Matt Rogers and Tony Fadell, have debuted a new thermostat that is sleek and cool. It learns what your temperature preferences are and readjusts itself. And it quickly learns what time you leave and arrive back home in order to have the perfect temperature waiting for you upon your arrival without wasting energy while you're away.

If you want to readjust the temp yourself while away, it's easy to do on a smartphone or a computer.

"It was unacceptable to me that the device that controls 10 percent of all energy consumed in the U.S. hadn'tnestkept up with advancements in technology and design," said Fadell, co-founder and chief executive officer of Nest Labs. "Together with the team, co-founder Matt Rogers and I set out to reinvent the thermostat using advanced technologies, high-quality manufacturing processes and the thoughtful design elements the iPhone generation has come to expect. The resulting Nest Learning Thermostat is like no other thermostat on the market. We hope it will not only save money and energy, but that it will teach and inspire people to think more about how they can reduce home energy consumption."

According to the U.S. Department of Energy and Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, the annual energy bill for a typical single-family home is approximately $2,200, with heating and cooling (HVAC) accounting for approximately half of the bill. The programmable thermostat, developed in the 1970s, promised to help people conserve energy, but 89 percent of owners rarely or never set a program. The devices are too complicated. In fact, Energy Star revoked its certification of all thermostats in 2009 when it became apparent that people weren't actually engaging with programmable thermostats to reach their proper functionality.

The Nest thermostat even has a chameleon-like appeal in that the brushed silver finish picks up the color of the wall upon which it's mounted.

The Nest is expected to ship later this month and will retail for $249.

For more information, see our Energy Efficient Heating & Cooling research center.

Topics: Heating & Cooling

Teena Hammond
Teena Hammond has published more than 2,000 articles in People and W magazines, Women's Wear Daily, and in dozens of newspapers and books. She also wrote a home improvement, remodeling and decor column that ran in Gannett newspapers nationwide. She's interested in all things green and would love to hear from you with your story ideas.

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