Google to buy smart thermostat maker Nest for $3.2 billion

Internet giant Google will buy Nest Labs, maker of smart thermostats and the brainchild of former Apple Inc. engineers.

Reports are that Google will pay a purchase price of $3.2 billion. The technology company will continue to operate within Google as a standalone unit of the larger company, according to reports.

Nest is a "learning thermostat" that remembers what temperatures customers like, creates a custom schedule for the home, and turns itself down when customers are away.

Nest thermostats are designed to help people control home-energy consumption remotely, as the thermostats can be programmed using smartphones.

Nest has partnerships with utilities, such as Southern California Edison (SCE), which install the thermostats in customers' homes and places of business to help conserve energy. SCE customers who own a Nest Learning Thermostat can earn $1.25 for every kilowatt hour saved through the utility's Save Power Days Plus.

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