Get paid by your energy company by letting Nest manage your temps during high-usage times.

Heating and cooling both pose a significant cost to homeowners every year. A great way to cut down on those costs is by using a smart thermostat like a Nest that can keep a tight schedule that matches yours or even build one around your life with its learning features. You can add to those savings by signing up for Nest Rush Hour Rewards and have your utility company pay you for managing your usage during peak times. You probably won’t even notice the difference in temperature, but you will definitely notice the savings at the end of the year.

More: Nest Thermostat Gen 1 through Gen 3 and Nest E: Comparison and main differences

What is the Rush Hour Rewards program?

At certain times, the demand for energy gets extremely high. Sometimes high enough that your utility company struggles to meet the demand. These are known as rush hours because of the way they resemble traffic patterns on busy streets. Rush Hour Rewards is a program from Nest and your utility company that will make a small adjustment to your temperature settings before and during these rush hours, and in return your energy company will pay you in real dollars for the help.

The adjustments in temperature are small, usually around 3 degrees or so. It doesn’t take much of a change to cut down on how much energy you’re using. It’s all automatic, and if you’re not home during a rush hour there may be a larger temperature swing. If you are home and feel uncomfortable you can adjust the temperature yourself at any time.

There are both summer and winter rush hours, and to participate you’ll need a Nest Thermostat E, 3rd gen Nest Learning Thermostat, 2nd gen Nest Learning Thermostat, or 1st gen Nest Learning Thermostat paired with a central air system or a central heating system. You can see if your utility company participates in the program on Nest’s Rewards page, and learn more details about the program here.

How to sign up for Rush Hour Rewards

You can sign up for the program through the Nest app on your phone or through the company’s website. Either way gives the same result and both are easy to do.

Sign up through the website

  • Go to the Nest Rebates and Rewards page and enter your ZIP code to see what programs are available in your area. Choose the one you’d like to enroll into Rush Hour Rewards.
  • Click Sign Up at the bottom of the page then sign into your Nest account.
    • If you have more than one home in your Nest Account, you’ll need to choose which one you’re signing up with.
  • Enter the basic customer information about your account with the utility company.
  • Check the box to confirm you’ve read the terms and conditions, then click I’m done.

Sign up with the Nest app

  • Tap Settings on the app home screen.
  • Select Home info then Energy programs then Find a participating company in your area.
  • Choose the energy company you’re signing up with.
  • Tap Sign Up at the bottom of the page then sign into your Nest account.
    • If you have more than one home in your Nest Account, you’ll need to choose which one you’re signing up with.
  • Enter the basic customer information about your account with the utility company.
  • Check the box to confirm you’ve read the terms and conditions, then tap I’m done.

Once your energy provider confirms you’re an eligible customer, you’ll get an email from Nest that activates the program and you can start getting cash back. You can unenroll at any time by contacting Nest customer support or your utility company’s billing support staff.

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