Nest is giving away 1 million smart thermostats to those in need

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Nest isn’t going to let income level prevent folks from enjoying the cost-saving benefits of its new Nest Thermostat E smart device - it’s giving away one million of the devices to people living in low- and moderate-income homes.

The drive is part of a new initiative called The Power Project that hopes to reduce the amount lower-income families spend on their energy bills which, according to Nest’s research, can be as high as 20% of their monthly income.

To make things better for these folks, Nest is committed to working with government agencies, utility companies and non-profits, including Habitat for Humanity, Fannie Mae and Southern California Gas to get smart thermostats into 1 million homes. 

“As part of our shared vision for creating thoughtful and sustainable homes, Nest is donating a Nest Thermostat E to every Habitat for Humanity home built in the U.S. in 2018,” the company said. “And for the two weeks around Earth Day, April 16th through April 30th, 10% of the proceeds from sales of Nest thermostats (up to $500,000) will be donated to organizations like Habitat for Humanity that are bringing energy efficient solutions to the people who need them most.”

Helping families grow their Nest egg 

Now, I know a smart thermostat isn’t going to drastically change the lives of lower-income Americans. At the end of the day, poor insulation and inefficient heating systems will likely still plague families living in impoverished neighborhoods - and no amount of smart home tech is going to change that. 

And yet, what Nest is doing is taking corporate responsibility for the plight of some of America’s most vulnerable families, giving them some sort of tangible aid that will help many of them lower their monthly bills and put more cash in their pockets at the end of the month. 

A Nest Thermostat E probably isn’t going to the factor that helps an American rocket from the lowest income percentile to the highest - but it can be a family’s first steps towards gaining financial freedom that can lead to re-investment and job growth in low-income areas.

A healthier planet and a better quality of life for those of us who live here? Sounds like a win-win situation.

Nick Pino

Nick Pino is Managing Editor, TV and AV for TechRadar's sister site, Tom's Guide. Previously, he was the Senior Editor of Home Entertainment at TechRadar, covering TVs, headphones, speakers, video games, VR and streaming devices. He's also written for GamesRadar+, Official Xbox Magazine, PC Gamer and other outlets over the last decade, and he has a degree in computer science he's not using if anyone wants it.