Friday, October 28, 2011

Nest Learning Thermostat: Shiny Toy or Serious Behavior Modification Tool?

The Nest thermostat has a feature called “time to temperature,” which displays the amount of time it will take to heat or cool the home. This information is intended to prevent people from oversetting the temperature with the idea that when they turn it up higher, it will heat the room up faster, which, by the way, it won’t. What happens instead is that the home becomes overheated and the owner ends up opening the windows to cool it back down, wasting a ton of energy in the process. What’s more, Nest also provides a website that shows you how much energy, and money you are saving, a classic example of behavior modification. This kind of direct immediate feedback is also much of the impetus behind smart meters, where it is used to monitor and reduce household electrical usage. more

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