As a consultant helping businesses adopt smart technologies, one of the most common questions I get asked is "how much is a Nest thermostat, and is it worth it?" For homeowners and small business owners alike, the Nest Learning Thermostat makes an compelling case with its modern design, convenient features, and the promise of long-term energy savings.
But the decision often comes down to cost. While the upfront price tag of $169 to $249 may seem steep, the savings can quickly add up when you factor in available rebates and discounted retail pricing. By taking a hard look at the numbers and functionality, I can help you decide if the investment in a Nest for your home or office makes financial sense.
Comparing Nest Models and Alternatives
Nest thermostats retail for between $169 to $249, with the higher-end Learning Thermostat offering the most advanced features. As a small business owner myself, I always compare pricing and capabilities to alternative options too – like the Ecobee SmartThermostat which retails around $249.
I put together this overview matrix to help weigh the options:
|Wifi connectivity, remote access, home/away assist, energy history reporting, multiple temperature sensors
|Nest Learn 3
|Auto-scheduling, home/away assist, remote access, energy reporting, Farsight (shows temperature when you walk by), multiple temperature sensors
|Room sensor with occupancy detection, Alexa built-in, IFTTT integration, eco+ tracking, remote access, multi-zone support
The Nest and Ecobee models have comparable capabilities – but as you‘ll see ahead, the potential energy savings is what makes back that initial price tag over time.
Calculating the Payback Period of Nest Thermostat Energy Savings
Research shows that upgrading to a learning smart thermostat like the Nest or Ecobee can save homeowners an average of $50 to $150 per year on heating and cooling costs. For simplicity‘s sake, let‘s estimate an average of $100 in annual energy bill savings.
Over two years, that‘s $200 in cumulative savings – essentially paying back the price of the latest Nest Learning Thermostat. And the energy savings continue to add up the longer you have your Nest.
As a small business owner balancing expenses, I would consider a two year payback timeline quite reasonable for this smart upgrade. Of course, cost savings will vary based on the size and insulation of your home, plus your energy rates. I can help map out a custom ROI analysis of potential energy bill reductions with a Nest Thermostat upgrade if helpful!
Other Costs – Installation, Wiring, and Service Plans
If handling home improvement projects isn‘t your forte, I recommend budgeting $100 to $150 for professional Nest Thermostat installation. Handymen tend to charge less than electricians – but ensure whoever you hire is experienced working with wiring.
You‘ll also want to factor compatibility costs if your heating/cooling system isn‘t Nest-ready. Having the proper C wire is recommended for consistent power – if your home lacks a C wire, installing a special adapter runs around $40.
And for ongoing costs, Nest provides two tiers of extended service plans:
- Nest Service Plan: $29 per year
- Nest Pro Install/Service Plan: $19 per year
If you ever run into technical problems beyond the standard 2 year warranty, the service plans guarantee discounted expert support and unit replacements when needed. As a business consultant, I tend to recommend service plans to eliminate the headaches and costs of future repair issues or troubleshooting.
Who Should Buy a Nest Thermostat? Key Recommendations.
Based on my background installing smart home systems and helping businesses rein in overhead costs, here is my expert take on ideal scenarios for justifying the spend on a Nest Learning Thermostat:
- Homeowners looking for convenience and connectivity in managing temperatures/energy use from their smartphones or other smart devices.
- Households with regular occupancy patterns to maximize the auto-scheduling algorithms. Irregular schedules mean more manual temperature adjustments.
- Homes in extreme weather climates that rely heavily on heating or A/C annually – the bigger the energy bills, the greater potential savings.
- People moving into a first home who want to enhance efficiency and value from the start through smart upgrades.
Additionally, here are two key precautions from my experience:
- Avoid attempting self-installation without an existing C wire – messy failures requiring professional revisions tend to negate the cost benefit. Safer bet is getting a pro handyman to handle it from the start if you don‘t have electrical expertise.
- Carefully review energy use history over the past 12 months. Occasional heating/cooling use likely won‘t yield major Nest Thermostat savings from the auto-scheduler. Ensure your lifestyle will capitalize on the learning capabilities before purchasing!
Hope this gives you a better idea of how much a Nest Thermostat costs – and crucially, how long before you recoup that investment through energy savings. As a small business consultant, I‘m always happy to offer my advice on the financial considerations around smart home upgrades. Reach out if you have any other questions!