Posted by: miggins | May 6, 2012

The easy Nest thermostat vs CPS EnergyGuard


I recently installed a Nest

The old thermostat was a ‘smart’ thermostat from CPS Energy’s EnergyGuard program- which lets you program temperature times throughout the day and also gives CPS a chance to cut back on energy usage – essentially shutting off your AC at peak usage times.

The idea is that we can avoid building another coal burning power plant if the peak energy usage can be better managed.

I support the idea 100%. It’s just that I found the user portal impossibly difficult to navigate. And the interface on the actual thermostat was even worse. I simply could not figure how to use either. After about a year I gave up and bought the Nest



It was designed by some ex Apple people and only takes 45 minutes or less to install. Once installed you connect it to your home wifi and then you can manage temps from the Nest or from their iPhone app.

It learns your habits over a three day period. After, if you want your kitchen to be, say, 72 degrees starting at 7 am it just happens. You can only twist the knob left or right – that’s it. So even morons like me can use it.

Of course it doesn’t allow CPS to manage my home usage but in terms of ease of use the nest is a thousand times easier than the EnergyGuard device.

Now I just need to touch up the wall with a bit of paint and it’s done.



  1. I was interested in the Nest too but have not pulled the trigger yet… is it a hassle with having to replace the batteries and all? Also, was the thermostat provided by CPS that much worse than a typical programmable one? (They all look confusing to me!)

    Also, since I live north of SATX, I am looking into the Energy Guard stuff too and this whole peak energy problem we have in central tx. What if the Nest still allowed CPS to manage your home when needed during peak times… would you go for that if it were possible? Seems like they could do that.

    Thanks for the post.

    • The Nest was simple to install and uses standard aaa batteries. Of the 45 minutes over half of that was me making sure I shut the power breaker off correctly in order to safely begin the work.

      Their website gives simple instructions based on the type of device you already have.

      I believe there is a new CPS thermostat which is evidently easier to use but I ran out of patience and the nest portal is just a lot easier.

      CPS will not let you use a nest bc they will come out to your house to install their own wireless device to your exterior wall. So their thermostat never uses your home wifi at all. and the connection from my CPS thermo to their wifi device lost connectivity all the time too which was a pain.

      I found their people very patient with me and willing to make it work but I simply ran out of patience. I was also drawn in by the design simplicity of the Nest.

      If you are inclined you might give the new and improved CPS plan a try. It’s free to sign up and that means the smart thermostat is free too.

      I hope that helps.

  2. Since I work in the demand controls industry, CPS can not turn off your AC during peak demand with a “STORE BOUGHT” thermostat such as the NEST or any other thermostat bought at Home Depot or Lowes.
    The energy guard thermostat which is built by CONCERT/TempRite is a piece of junk. The other program CPS has which is the SMART THERMOSTAT program which is sponsored and contracted by HONEYWELL SMARTGRID SOLUTIONS have a very easy to use 7-DAY Programmable touchscreen thermostat which is better than the energy gaurd stat. CPS can turn off your AC compressor for 10 minutes every 30 minutes to save peak demand with the smart thermostat program. Not bad for 10 minutes at a time in specific zones of the city that are experiencing peak demand. Smart Thermosta or Home Manager are free for install and service. Smart Thermostat has 24 hour after hours service even weekends. Home Manager only does service until 6pm and no weekends.

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