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So you just installed a Nest Learning Thermostat, one of the most popular smart thermostats on the market.  You synced it with your smart phone and tablet, and now you’re ready to watch the savings roll in.  Not only can you control the temperature of your home from just about anywhere, you may also have the ability to take advantage of a new program that can earn you a little extra dough.

Google has slowly been stepping out onto the energy scene with its acquisition of Nest Labs, its partial ownership of the Ivanpah solar array, and now, its Nest Rush Hour Rewards Program.  Some may not realize why Google is branching out in this direction, but I’ll tell you why.  Energy efficiency and home automation are taking off!

Nest owners now have the option to participate in an automated residential demand response (DR) program.  I know what you’re thinking: What the whaaat?

Allow me to explain.

HERE ARE THE BASICS

Think back to the last time you were stuck in rush hour traffic.  Aside from the thunderous obscenities you shouted, what do you remember?  Congested roadways, sluggish movement, and no one getting anywhere fast enough.  Now take that same concept and apply it to the electric grid.

During some of the hottest days of the year, everyone demands more energy to stay cool.  Consequently, the grid becomes...

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