Nest has announced that its eponymous smart thermostat is now available in the UK – the first time it has been available outside of the US.
Bought by Google for $3.2bn back in January, Nest will cost between £179 or £249 depending on the costs of professional installation, and will also be available for npower customers on selected tariffs. This is necessary as the UK version of Nest will be dramatically different to its US cousin, as it will have to adapt to different user habits, as UK homes rarely have heating or air conditioning programmes running all day.
Nest also believes that as many as 40% of UK houses don’t actually have thermostats, instead relying on programmer units attached to the boiler and operated by the user to gradually heat up a house. Nest replaces this with its Heat Link system, which attaches to the boiler and regulates the hot water flow depending on messages it receives from the thermostat.
Instead, based on user preferences, Nest learns the temperatures you like – and when you like them – to create an intuitive schedule. Using sensors, it will even notice if a home is empty and turn the heating down to save energy, although if you’re on your way home, you can turn use the accompanying Nest app to make sure your home is warm when you arrive.
"Every day since, we’ve been working hard to create a Nest Thermostat that will change the way our friends in the UK heat their homes," Nest’s VP of business, Erik Charlton, said of the launch.
The company also recommends having Nest professionally installed, as UK boilers use high-voltage wires, another key difference to the US. Nest has built up a network of trained engineers that can provide this service, with a full list available on its website.
Installation should take around an hour, as the engineer connects the Nest Thermostat to a home’s Wi-Fi network, as well as the accompanying Heat Link system and programmer’s schedule. The thermostat can be installed anywhere in the home, and could replace an existing device on the wall, or alternatively can be plugged into any available power socket around the home.
"Once it’s up and running, we think it will completely change the way you heat your home," said Charlton.
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