A new report from The Information claims Google is currently testing Web-connected thermostats, similar to Nest, that will let users track home energy activity, and adjust accordingly. The search giant made a similar play for the home a few years back with a project called PowerMeter, but the service was eventually killed off. The upcoming effort, dubbed EnergySense, is being undertaken with the help of Ecobee, who will help develop the project’s hardware. Non-employees, known as “Trusted Testers,” are allegedly using the service in St. Louis, “and possibly elsewhere.”
Sources say Google isn’t intending to compete with Nest, but instead help people trim their energy and make it more affordable. Of course, one of the service’s main points will be to collect data and build applications and services. It’s unclear when the product will make a public debut, if ever, but the feelers are supposedly out there. With Internet-connected home devices becoming more popular, the iron is definitely hot for Google to strike. Nest is popular for its simplicity and elegance; can Google make similar inroads in homes across America?