The rumor mill has been buzzing for a while now about a new, more affordable Nest Thermostat - and sure enough: it's now official. Another notable difference is the display. You can start placing your orders on August 31 at Home Depot, Lowe's, Best Buy, Amazon, and of course, Nest's official website.
As for the look of the E model, it has the same form factor as the original-but a radically different aesthetic.
Pre-set scheduling. Rather than having to build your schedule over time by have the thermostat learn your habits, the E will have a built-in schedule out of the box.
Although the thermostat does possess some learning capabilities, the company has dropped the "learning" part of the name.
"Like the Nest Learning Thermostat, it turns itself down when you're away, so you don't waste energy heating or cooling an empty home", Veron says".
"Really what we want to do is talk to another kind of customer", Maxime Veron, Nest's head of product marketing, told Business Insider at a briefing about the new product. Additionally, the design was way too masculine for some, and therefore, the company made a decision to scale that down a bit.
The E will run on the same software as Nest's original $249 thermostat, but lacks certain features like displaying the time or weather on its screen.
The new model, the Thermostat E, costs $170, coming in $80 below the current version, Nest said. The reduced price suggests that the new thermostat is for the masses. Just 11 percent of American households with broadband Internet have smart thermostats, and only 18 percent of households were willing to pay for a $250 thermostat, according to a Parks Associates survey previous year. Nest also generates a huge amount of data based on customers' usage of its thermostats, which Google likely sees as another potential revenue stream down the line.
That means if you have an advanced two or three-stage HVAC system, you would still need to buy the more expensive thermostat. Nest says it's saved almost 14 billion kWh of energy so far, and found in a study that it shaves 12 to 15 percent off most customers' heating bills.
Alphabet subsidiary Google bought Nest back in 2014 for $3.2 billion in a move that had many scratching their heads.
That note about the Thermostat E blending into any environment is an interesting one, and it speaks to the market Nest is addressing with this new product.