Tackling Home Energy through Good Design


Matt Rogers, Founder and Vice President of Engineering at Nest Labs tells how his company integrates design and technology to create a better thermostat — and make home energy management easy, understandable, and cool.

About 40 percent of the 92 million residential thermostats in the United States are programmable, which would be a great thing for energy saving, except that only about 10 million of devices are actually programmed.

The problem is that most of the gadgets are too hard to use and people aren't inclined to figure them out, Nest co-founder Matt Rogers told attendees at the GreenBiz Forum today in San Francisco.

Instructions are complicated, the thermostat is often confusing and, surprisingly, the prospect of saving energy and money isn't alluring enough to inspire people to scale the learning curve, according to Rogers.

But what if the programmable thermostat in your house were as easy to use as your smartphone -- and, as a plus, good-looking, too?