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Google Marketing RECs, Providing Consolidated Bill With Utility, Nest Charges Under New Program

NRG Among Energy Providers Partnering With Google On Nest Renew

Google Touts Ability For Customers To Receive RECs, Usage Insights Without Having To Change Power Provider Or Leave Utility

October 6, 2021

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Copyright 2010-21
Reporting by Paul Ring •

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Google is launching, via a preview to invited customers, Nest Renew, a suite of services connected to Google's latest smart thermostat that includes matching users with RECs and providing a single bill with the customer's utility and Nest charges

NRG, along with several utilities, are among Google's partners in offering Nest Renew

Google will offer Nest Renew Premium in select markets, for $10 a month. Nest Renew Premium includes a Clean Energy Match service.

"This feature will match your estimated fossil fuel electricity use at home with renewable energy credits (RECs) from U.S. solar and wind plants. Initially, these will come from the Bethel Wind project in Castro County, TX, and in 2023, will also come from the future Roseland Solar project in Falls County, TX. Both of these projects will also provide renewable energy for Google. And these are just the first examples -- we’ll add additional solar and wind projects over time," Google said in a blog post

Additionally, under Nest Renew Premium, Google will connect the customer's electric utility account to their Nest service.

"Utility Bill Pay is a Nest Renew Premium feature through which Nest Renew combines your charges from your electric utility bill and your Nest Renew monthly fee into a single bill. Nest Renew automatically charges your payment method every month to cover the combined bill," Google said

Customers have the option of entering their utility rate code to further participate in Energy Shift which helps automatically prioritize usage of less expensive energy with their Nest thermostat (see more below).

"Renew Premium members will get one easy-to-read bill each month that includes your Nest Renew monthly cost, your usual utility charges, and a summary of how your Clean Energy Match is helping to support a healthier climate," Google said

"Providing Nest Renew with information about your electric utility account allows us to estimate how much fossil fuel-based electricity your home consumes and match it with clean energy using renewable energy credits. We also use this information so that Nest Renew can provide you with a monthly bill that includes both your Renew Premium charges and your usual utility charges," Google said

"If you have an outstanding bill on your utility account at the time that you enroll in Nest Renew Premium, you may be presented with the option to pay that bill at checkout. If you do not have an outstanding utility bill at the time, you won’t see this option," Google said

"After that, you’ll be introduced to key product features and, if it is available in your area, be presented with the opportunity to join a local Rush Hour Rewards program which works with your Nest thermostat to help you earn rewards for using less energy when demand is high on your local grid," Google said

Several services are offered for free as part of Nest renew Basic, including Energy Shift, which, "works with your thermostat to help you automatically shift your heating and cooling electricity usage to times when your grid is cleaner, without sacrificing comfort," Google said in a blog post

"Some electricity providers have time-of-use rates, where costs vary by time of day. If you’re on a plan like that, Energy Shift can help you save by automatically shifting usage to less expensive energy times," Google said in a blog post

Nest Renew also comes with monthly impact reports, so customers can track the difference the customer and the Nest Renew community are making. "It also shows you when the electricity coming into your home is cleaner and when it’s not so clean throughout the day, so you can make more informed choices," Google said in a blog post

Nest has offered customers the ability to earn "leafs" for saving energy. Google announced more ways to earn leafs such as when customers use Energy Shift or commit to a monthly challenge, such as running the customer's laundry on cold to save energy.

"When you’ve earned enough Leafs to reach a milestone, the Energy Impact Program will let you vote to direct Nest Renew funds to your choice of nonprofits from our list of partners across the U.S., like GRID Alternatives and Elevate. These can range from supporting clean energy career training to expanding access to clean energy options like rooftop or community solar projects in communities around the country," Google said in a blog post

Renew is available to customers with a 3rd generation Nest Learning Thermostat, the Nest Thermostat E, or the newest Nest Thermostat connected to a Google account

Google is partnering with several energy providers and utilities to offer Nest Renew. "[E]nergy providers will have new opportunities to engage consumers with time-of-use rates, increase demand response program participation and facilitate consumer support for renewable energy. For customers, it will be an opportunity to better understand and control their energy usage and prioritize the use of carbon-free energy," Google said of the partnerships

"We’re also partnering with Uplight to make it easier in the future for customers to link their utility accounts to unlock personalized energy savings insights, program recommendations and device rebates. Together, we aim to help customers and utilities reach their load management goals," Google said

"Nest Renew also will increase enrollments in energy provider-sponsored Rush Hour Rewards programs, which let customers earn rewards for using less when energy consumption is high and make it easier for utilities to manage the grid during times of peak demand. We’re already working with a number of partners to deliver these programs in over 80 utility territories and wholesale markets, covering more than 40% of consumers in the U.S.," Google said

Google said that, "Because you don’t have to change your utility provider, Nest Renew gives you a hassle-free way to help support a cleaner future."

NRG Energy, Inc. announced that it is partnering with Nest Renew from Google. NRG will include Nest Renew as an option for eligible customers in Texas

NRG said that Nest Renew will help customers manage and make choices about their energy usage, deepen their sustainability journey, and track the positive difference they are making, right from their homes. "The service works with compatible Nest thermostats1 to help customers automatically shift their heating and cooling electricity usage to times when the grid is cleaner, in turn allowing energy companies to better manage energy fluctuations and drive a cleaner, more resilient energy future," NRG noted

"In addition to providing Nest Renew to eligible residential customers, NRG will leverage its expertise in commercial energy to support Nest Renew services by offering Google Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) [sic] over the course of this program," NRG said

Other partners with Google on Nest Renew include AES (including Dayton Power & Light), Consumers Energy, Duke Energy, Portland General Electric, Southern California Edison and Southern Company

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