What Google could have done with $3.2 billion in Nest thermostats…

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Google announced on January 13, 2013 that it’s acquiring Nest, the maker of “smart” home thermostats and smoke detectors, for $3.2 billion. As much as we’re excited to see what Google does with the already stellar thermostat maker in terms of analytics and connectivity integration, we can’t help but feel incapable of grasping that dollar amount in relative terms. So we here at GIC thought it might be interesting to see what that dollar amount would mean in impact terms. Because who doesn’t love numbers…

3.2 Billion USD:

  • that would buy roughly 12 million Nest thermostats (assuming a current price of $250/unit)
  • installing those into US households would cover roughly 10% of the homes
  • according to Nest, those homeowners would save an average of 20% on their utility bills using the thermostat

According to the Energy Information Agency, residential energy consumption across the US totals 1.37 trillion kilowatt hours (kWh) annually, so we plug that in our handy energy calculator… (buzz, whir, compute, compute) and we get an equivalent energy reduction of 27 billion kilowatt hours!

The environmental equivalence of reducing energy use by 27 billon kWh would be the same as:

  • CO2 sequestered by 15.6 million acres of trees
  • eliminating roughly a million homes worth of energy consumption
  • taking 4 million cars off the road
  • or offsetting emissions of 5.5 coal-fired power plants (run some numbers yourself with the EPA calculator).

So here’s to hoping that Nest will continue to reinvent “smart” devices for our homes and that Google won’t put ads on our thermostats.

If you’d like to learn more about the Nest thermostat, check it out here (it’s pretty impressive). And thanks to Aaron for the tip.