The Nest, everyone's favorite smart thermostat, has just gotten what looks like its first utilities deal. Reliant, which provides power in eight states and the District of Columbia, is bundling the Nest with one of its two-year electricity contracts in Texas. The Reliant Learn & Conserve Plan is a fixed two-year program that includes a Nest Learning Thermostat, much like the programmable thermostats already handed out by many providers. So what makes the $249 Nest worth including in the plan? Reliant says it's because only 10 percent of current thermostats are ever programmed, while 99 percent of Nests have created a custom schedule for the user's house. That means over time, they'll more likely to reach the 20 percent energy use reduction Nest estimates is possible with thermostats.
Reliant's plan currently offers a Nest for a "limited time," so interested buyers may not want to wait. In Houston, the plan costs 10.3 cents per kWh with a surcharge of $4.07 a month and 0.3773 cents per kWh. That's roughly similar to the standard plan, although it requires a commitment of two years instead of one. We're not aware of any similar deals elsewhere yet, but the surprisingly glamorous Nest could end up functioning both as a legitimate way to reduce power use and a point of attraction for customers. For Nest, this could mean wider distribution among people who might otherwise have been unaware or uninterested.