Electric Ireland does a deal with Nest at Web Summit

Customers of Electric Ireland to get free thermostats from Google-owned connected-home device firm

Nest, the connected-home device company purchased by Google for $3.2 billion earlier in January, this morning announced a major deal with Electric Ireland to offer free Nest thermostats to Electric Ireland customers with a two-year contract.

Speaking on the Centre Stage on day two of the Web Summit, Nest founder Tony Fadell revealed the deal, saying it will enable up to 1.2 million Electric Ireland customers to avail of the so-called 'learning thermostat', which tracks user behaviour and monitors room temperature to automatically optimise a home's heating for greater fuel efficiency.

From November 12th, new Electric Ireland customers who sign up to a two-year electricity price plan can receive the Nest Learning Thermostat and installation at no cost. Existing customers can get a Nest Thermostat and installation for just €99.

Fadell also discussed a major software update to the thermostats introducing “enhanced auto-schedule”, a major change of its algorithm based on data and customer feedback.


Nest also produces an internet-connected fire alarm, which can send alerts if smoke and carbon monoxide is detected, and is a pioneer in the so-called “Internet of Things”, in which devices and appliances are internet-connected, allowing for smart algorithms for their use, as well as being controlled remotely by smartphone apps.

Fadell (45) is known as the 'godfather of the iPod' for his role in creating the iconic music player when he worked at Apple for nearly a decade.

Asked by CNN's Laurie Segall to compare the culture at Apple and Google, Fadell said they were both products of the eras they were born in. "Google is 15 years old, while Apple is more than 30 years old. The culture of each company was created at very different times in history - Apple in a more traditional, much more hierarchical fashion, while Google was born out of a network culture, where everyone could talk to everyone, leading to much more transparency across the company. I'm not saying one's better than the other, and I have embraced both."

Asked for advice for the budding entrepreneurs in the audience, Fadell emphasised perseverance. “You will fail, you’re going to fail a lot. I had many companies before I became very successful, and it’s all about perseverance...Understand that you’re going to fail, you will fail many times before you learn how to do it right.”

Earlier, the Internet of Things was a major theme on the Machine Stage, with a number of discussions relating to the field and the rise of the automation in the home.

The early panel discussions on the Centre Stage concentrated on the growing importance of social media in news reporting and the changing face of the news media industry, highlighting how the Web Summit has become one of Ireland's foremost media conferences, with speakers such as Henry Blodget of Business Insider, David Carr of the New York Times and Kevin Sutcliffe of Vice News among the panellists.

In one panel, Mark Little of Storyful emphasised that 'There has never been a better way to spread a hoax than social media. But there has also never been a better fact-checking process than social media...'