Nest’s smart thermostat doesn’t come cheap, but the Google-owned company has a plan to get its $250 gadget into even more homes. CEO Tony Fadell announced a partnership with Electric Ireland earlier this week under which the company will give away a free thermostat with each new two-year utility contract, CNET reports.
Moving forward, Nest hopes to partner with more utility companies in other countries in an effort to expand beyond its current customer base. “This is a seminal event in Ireland [that] we think is going to change the world,” Fadell said at a tech conference in Dublin.
He also commented on Nest’s commitment to user privacy, which came into question when Google announced it was buying the smaller company in early 2014. At the time, Nest promised its data would stay separate from the rest of Google’s operations, and almost a year later that’s still the case. “It’s our job as Nest to earn the trust, to show we are doing the right things for data privacy and data security,” Fadell said, adding that the company’s own data crunching over the past three years helped its customers conserve 7 to 10 percent more energy.
As Nest continues to expand through partnerships like the one announced this week, it should be able to do even more with the information its thermostats record.