Cleantech solutions for heating, cooling and electricity are coming together. The new SolarCity and Nest collaboration will see select homeowners signing up for a solar lease given the opportunity to couple a free Nest Thermostat. If the home is equipment with a compatible air conditioning system, it will then be paired using the Works with Nest program.
Air conditioning is a major source of electricity demand, particularly in hot climates, such as southern California. Being able optimize on-site solar electricity production through solar can potentially lead to major savings, rather than drawing that electricity from the grid. An additional advantage can be delivered to the grid, cutting down on demand during expensive peak periods and therefore the grid and generation capacity required to meet that demand
The SolarCity partnership will presumably give Nest access to homes in which heating may not be a major requirement and help it fine tune and roll out its intelligent air-conditioning solution.
Nest studies show that the use of its intelligent thermostat solution can result in 12 to 15% savings on heating bills and 15% on cooling. Coupling with leased solar will likely result in further savings that is estimated to total in the hundreds of dollars. Nest reports than annual savings on heating and cooling bills through the use of its thermostat and software range between $131 and $145 a year.
The companies report that they will collaborate on integrating the Nest Learning Thermostat with SolarCity rooftop arrays.
The Nest Thermostat can create a heating and cooling schedule for homeowners, based on data it collects, and can ramp down central heating systems or air conditioners when residents leave home.
SolarCity indicates it will allow qualified customers to access Nest Energy services, such as its Seasonal Savings program.
Google acquired Nest Labs in January 2014 for $3.2 billion. Google has also been a tax equity investor in SolarCity’s portfolio of residential leases.