In the US, California-based designer, financier and installer of solar energy systems SolarCity has announced its partnership with home automation company Nest to offer 10,000 Nest thermostats to new customers in the state.
SolarCity is seeking to “build connections” with the Nest Learning Thermostat to help improve solar integration capabilities and generate additional savings for homeowners.
On its own, the Nest thermostat already creates energy savings by programming itself to track homeowners behaviors, regarding temperature and producing a tailored for the home.
Homeowners can lower their heating and cooling bills by up to 20%, depending on how well you “teach” it, claims Nest.
In the long-term, SolarCity aims to have the capability to regulate home HVAC systems, pool pumps and other household appliances based on the amount of available solar power.
The Nest thermostats will be given to customers with compatible air-conditioning systems who agree to connect the thermostat to SolarCity under the ‘Works with Nest’ programme.
Marrying solar power and smart home technologies
Extending collaboration between the solar industry and smart home technology providers, SunPower, a US manufacturer of crystalline photovoltaic cells, roof tiles an solar panels, invested US$20 million into cloud-based software services company Tendril’s energy management software.
In another deal, Enphase, provider of microcontroller technology for the solar industry, partnered with Nexia Home Intelligence and Mylight Systems based in France in a bid to integrate data from microinverters into home energy management systems.
PV Tech reported Omar Saadeh, senior grid analyst at GTM Research, as saying: “We’re at a point in history where the price points have decreased enough to stimulate consumer interest in connected devices.
"Now they’re [Enphase] looking at the home more holistically. A lot of other players in the home don’t have that unique perspective just because they don’t have the data coming off the solar panel or the inverter.”