Nest Smart Thermostat Warms Up to the UK

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Nest, makers of internet-connected thermostats and smoke detectors, are now selling units in the UK, the first time Nest products have been available outside the US.

The Nest smart thermostat is finally available in the UKThe Nest smart thermostat is finally available in the UK

For the Nest Protect, the pricing is £109 for either white or black. Pricing for the UK thermostats is £179 or £249, the price difference being the type of installation chosen. Nest (strongly) suggests professional installation because boilers in the UK are connected to high-voltage wires.

Google's purchase of Nest was completed in February, prompting many to wonder how long it would be until Google killed the geek-beloved project, or worse, not allow management of the units without a Google+ Profile. Instead of killing off Nest, Google is taking it into new markets.

In a blog post, Nest's Erik Charlton points out an interesting piece of information about breaking into the UK market:

Most UK heating systems don’t even have thermostats. So the actual temperature or your comfort never enters into the equation. In order to warm up the house, you have to keep walking back and forth to the programmer, manually turning on the heat in quick bursts hoping you get it right. There’s also no way to track how much heat you’re using, so balancing comfort and energy savings is guesswork.

Nest Learning Thermostat and Nest Protect are both available starting today in the UK store at Nest's website.  

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It seems notable that while everyone was just waiting for Nest to get killed, they've moved into another market. After all the doom and gloom in the aftermath of Google's purchase, this is an encouraging move that shows there's a chance Nest isn't going anywhere. It still doesn't explain why Google wanted to get their hands on Nest, but maybe this is a good sign.



Most UK heating systems don’t even have thermostats? I don’t think I’ve ever been in a house in the UK without a thermostat.  We have the Honeywell Evohome - which, unlike Nest, can wirelessly control each radiator, so that different rooms can be different temperatures at different times of day.  Bedrooms warm in the evening, slightly cooler overnight, off during the day, for example.  Set it and forget it.  Or use the iPhone app to put into eco mode, or turn on early when returning home earlier than expected.  I don’t really get what Nest is supposed to do if it cannot control the heat in each room separately.

Kelly Guimont

@bilbo, the blog post said that, and explained there are “programmers” and that’s what is used to control heat. I’m not sure about controlling each room, but in the US it’s generally one thermostat per furnace, and some furnaces have zones.


It’s normal to have a programmer and a thermostat.  The programmer sets times for the heating and hot water to be on, and when the heating is on the thermostat controls the temperature.  Individual rooms typically controlled by TRV’s - thermostatic radiator valves.  However, the new Evohome system has electronic valves on every radiator that communicate wirelessly with the controller - so when a room needs heat the valve opens and the controller turns on the boiler.  The controller coordinates the valves (which each have built in thermostats) wirelessly throughout the house.


Echoing bilbo’s comment, UK homes, at least those with some kind of central heating have thermostats, many older systems have a single thermostat controlling heating for the entire house.  New systems have thermostatic valves on each radiator panel [aircon is very uncommon, heated air systems less so].

I saw the Nest in the Regents Street Apple store a month ago and there are other controllers on the market over here which enable remote control.  Should be the ‘next big thing….’


Oof. 72 Celsius? It’s HOT in here! smile

Kelly Guimont

@FlipFriddle: Shh! I didn’t have an image that had a Celsius temperature on it. smile

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