Nest, Google’s smart home arm, has announced a new project for the coming Earth Day – “Power Project,” under which one million Nest thermostats will be installed in low-income homes over the next five years.
The goal of the project is to raise awareness about the stress placed on low-income families because of utility burden.
The company is working with nonprofit organizations, utility programs, governments and housing finance agencies to reach the goal, in the hope that the one million give-away thermostats will help low-income homes by saving energy costs.
These organizations will get special prices (either cheaper or cost-free) on the Nest Thermostat E, which normally costs US$169.
Nest said it would donate 4,000 Thermostat E to homes built by Habitat for Humanity in the U.S. in 2018. Habitat for Humanity, an international nonprofit organization which builds affordable housing to address poverty housing issues all over the world, is one of Nest partners in the Power Project.
In the two weeks around Earth Day, from April 16 to 30, 10 percent of every sale from Nest thermostats will be donated to organizations like Habitat for Humanity, which is “bringing energy efficient solutions to the people who need them most,” Nest said.
According to Nest, an average U.S. household spends about 3.5 percent of its income on energy. However, one in five families spends 20 percent or more on energy bills, showing energy consumption-related burdens for moderate or low-income households.
Other partners in the Power Project include American home financing giant Fannie Mae. Also, Nest will work continue to with energy partners like Southern California Gas to launch programs that help homeowners save utility bills.