Skip to main content

How To Save Money With Nest Rush Hour Rewards

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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

See at Best Buy (opens in new tab)

Jerry Hildenbrand
Jerry Hildenbrand

Jerry is an amateur woodworker and struggling shade tree mechanic. There's nothing he can't take apart, but many things he can't reassemble. You'll find him writing and speaking his loud opinion on Android Central and occasionally on Twitter.

3 Comments
  • Aw man, this sounds nice but where I live they only offer discounts on the hardware via the utility or some insurance company. There's no Rush Hour Rewards option. I'll have to stick to using just the Nest Leaf settings as much as my wife will let me
  • FirstEnergy says that it should be enabled in my area "soon" and I can estimate a semi-annual account credit between $80 and $140 if I participate. On top of the $177 I saved last year from using it and the kick back i got for getting one it will have made me money if/when that happens. I like gadgets that make me money. A lot.
  • My power company only provides my electricity. I have oil heat (heating oil delivered to a big tank in my garage). I bought a Nest and submitted a rebate form but unless țhese programs are based on altruism, I don't expect I'll qualify. I'll just have to be content with my own savings (hopefully fewer oil deliveries next winter).