The Nest Leanring Thermostat from Nest Labs
The Nest Leanring Thermostat from Nest Labs

The Nest Learning Thermostat, a smart thermostat that uses artificial intelligence technology to learn consumer preferences and make energy-efficient decisions about heating and cooling a home, is the first smart thermostat to receive an EPA ENERGY STAR certification.

The testing showed that the system saves 10-12% in heating and 10-15% in cooling, saving homeowners an average of $131 to $145 per year on energy costs. The thermostat currently retails for $249, which means the thermostat can pay for itself in two years , according to the company.

According to EPA, if everyone used an ENERGY STAR certified smart thermostat, we could save up to 56 trillion BTUs of energy and $740 million dollars per year, offsetting 13 billion pounds of annual greenhouse gas emissions.

The thermostat is a hockey-puck-sized product that mounts to the wall and provides homeowners with a number of smart features when it comes to the heating and cooling of the home. The thermostat learns from users within the first week, and then creates an auto-schedule of temperatures they like. When homeowners leave the house, the thermostat automatically goes into "Away" mode to save energy. When changing the temperature manually, users will be guided towards energy saving temperatures, which will appear with a green leaf on the screen. The system also connects with the Nest App, which allows users to control the temperature from a phone, tablet, or laptop, and provides energy usage history, data about energy savings, and more.

Homeowners may be able to find even more savings through utility providers if a smart thermostat is installed in the home. Though the available savings can vary by state, many utility rebate programs for residential products leverage the ENERGY STAR standard as the threshold for rebate qualification. For example if a manufacturer’s thermostat is ENERGY STAR certified, it could automatically qualify under some specific utility companies for a $100 rebate, depending on the company and location.