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Is There a Monthly Fee for a Nest Thermostat?

Smart thermostats not only give you a better insight into your home’s energy consumption, but they’ll also help you save money on your utility bills over time.

One of the more popular models on the market, the Nest Thermostat, not only helps slash your bills but also provides tons of helpful features like auto-programming, access to home energy reports, and the ability to control everything using a handy app.

A common question people often have, though, is whether or not there is a monthly fee for using a Nest Thermostat, and that’s what we’ll be answering in this article.

There is no monthly fee for a Nest Thermostat, and no subscription is needed to access all functionality. You’ll need a Gmail account to use the Nest app, although these are both free. The only extra costs will be installation (usually $100-$300 for hardwiring) and your home’s WiFi subscription.

Do You Have to Pay a Monthly Fee for a Nest Thermostat?

There is no monthly fee for using a Nest thermostat.

Once you have bought the device, installed it into your home and downloaded the app, you will be ready to start using the Nest thermostat without having to worry about being charged for any additional fees.

Where people can get confused, however, is when it comes to Nest Aware, which is a Nest-specific subscription service offered by Google.

Thankfully, this premium subscription only applies to Nest video and camera device users to allow them to save video recordings from their devices.

Nest Aware isn’t compatible with the Nest Thermostat, and as such, you don’t need to worry about a potential extra charge for this service.

You will need a WiFi connection to connect your Nest thermostat to the internet and to let you control it via the Nest app on your smartphone. Whilst it’s unlikely you’ll live in a house without a WiFi connection already set up, it’s worth noting it will be an ‘extra’ cost if you don’t already have a broadband service installed in your home.

Is the Nest Thermostat a Subscription Service?

Unlike some intelligent thermostats from other brands, the Nest thermostat does not have a mandatory subscription service that you need to sign up to to get full functionality out of your device.

Once you have paid for your Nest Thermostat, which ranges from around $125 to $250, there will be no active subscription and no monthly costs required to keep using it.

All you’ll have to do is install the device into your home, download the Nest app, and you’ll be ready to take control of your home’s heating and cooling system from anywhere in the world.

Are There Any Paid Features on the Nest Thermostat?

The Nest thermostat is very much a ‘what you see is what you get’ product, in the sense that there are no hidden extra costs or features that you need to budget for.

Once you’ve purchased the thermostat device, installed it, connected it to your WiFi and linked it up to your Nest account, you’ll have access to all the features on offer.

Nest thermostats allow you to control the temperature within your home from anywhere in the world using the intuitive Nest app. You can set up auto-schedules, give your hot water a boost and set up a home/away assist program.

All these features (plus many more) come as standard with all Nest thermostats, so you don’t need to worry about getting stung by extra paid features.

Is a Nest Thermostat Account Free?

A Nest account is entirely free; there is no set-up charge, and there is no ongoing monthly fee for keeping your account.

It’s worth mentioning that, technically, you don’t need to sign-up for a Nest account, as you’ll be able to use the basic features on a Nest Thermostat without one.

You will, however, need a Nest account if you want to do things like receive notifications on your phone, use your phone as a remote controller, or take advantage of the Nest Thermostat’s various home automation features.

We’d strongly recommend signing up for a Nest account because, without these features, you won’t be getting the most out of your thermostat, and this somewhat defeats the purpose of getting a smart thermostat in the first place.

How to Set Up a Nest Account For Your Thermostat

The first step to setting up a Nest account is registering for a Google account.

Before 2019, you could use any email address to register your Nest account; however, you’ll now need to use a Google account, which is understandable considering Google now owns Nest.

As with your Nest account, a Google account is free to set up, and there is no monthly charge to keep your account active.

You can set up your Google account in just a few minutes here.

Once you’ve registered your Google account, the next step is to download the Nest smartphone app for free from either the Apple App Store or Google Play.

Simply type ‘Nest app’ in your app store’s search bar to find it.

an image showing the nest app in the app store on a smartphone

Once downloaded, go ahead and log in to the Nest app using your Google account. The final step is to link your Nest Thermostat within the app, and you can find instructions on how to do that here.

Is the Nest Thermostat App Free?

As mentioned above, the Nest app is free for both iOS and Android devices.

There is no cost for downloading it in the first place, and there’s no monthly fee to continue using it.

Simply type ‘Nest app’ in either the Apple App Store or Google Play to find it.

an image showing the nest app icon on a smartphone screen


You will require a Google account to use the app, although this is also free to set up and use.

You can, in theory, use a Nest Thermostat without a Google account or the Nest app. You’ll only get access to the most basic features, though, and things like receiving phone notifications or using your phone as a remote controller for the thermostat won’t work.

Considering both the app and a Google account are free and the fact that it only takes a few minutes to set each one up, we’d recommend doing so to get access to everything your Nest Thermostat has to offer.

Do You Need a Google Account For the Nest Thermostat?

Tech behemoth Google acquired Nest in 2014 for a whopping $3.2 billion, and since taking it over, they have made a few changes to the way people interact with their smart home devices.

One such change was requiring users to use a Google account with their Nest thermostat from 2019 onwards.

Before 2019, you could set up your Nest account using any email account; however, this is no longer the case, and you’ll need to register for a Google account before being able to use the Nest app, for example.

In fairness, using a Google account makes sense, especially if you own other Google home devices such as a Nest camera, smart speaker or doorbell. By using a Google account, you’ll be able to control all of your home devices from the same place when using either the Nest or Google Home app, streamlining and simplifying the entire process.

Google accounts are also free to set up, and there is no monthly charge to keep your account active.

How Much Is a Nest Thermostat?

There are three Nest Thermostat models to choose from, and they range in price from $125 to $250 depending on which model you choose.

The cheapest model (referred to as the Nest Thermostat) is shown below and retails for around $125.

This model is entirely plastic and uses a touch-sensitive strip on the side of the device to control the temperature (as opposed to the turnable metal ring on the Nest Learning Thermostat shown below).

It features a mirrored display that isn’t as high-resolution as the more expensive model. It also isn’t compatible with Nest’s Temperature Sensor accessory (a handy accessory that lets you choose where your Nest Thermostat measures the temperature).

The mid-priced model is the Nest Thermostat E shown below, and this retails for around $169.

Finally, the top-end model is the Nest Learning Thermostat shown below, and this costs around $250.

This premium model features a metal ring that’s available in various colors, a high-resolution display, and it’s compatible with an estimated 95% of home HVAC systems.

How Much Does It Cost to Install a Nest Thermostat?

Hardwired Nest Thermostats get their power from your home’s HVAC system via two wires — the C wire and the call-for-heat wire, also known as the R wire.

When used in Europe, Nest Thermostats also rely on a stable connection with Heat Link, which connects to the heating system and interprets the information between the boiler and the thermostat.

Nest Thermostats made for North America do not use Heat Link, so users located in the United States do not need to worry about this additional requirement.

If you’re a hands-on person who is confident with wiring, you may be considering installing your Nest Thermostat yourself to save on installation fees.

DIY installation isn’t something we recommend, however, as you’ll be working with high voltage cables when hardwiring your Nest Thermostat, and you could void the device’s warranty if you don’t follow the process correctly.

Thankfully, Google has partnered with Handy and OnTech in the United States and countless other so-called Nest Pro installers worldwide to offer cost-effective, professional installation of Nest Thermostats (and other smart home devices).

Here are just a few of the things they can do during installation:

  • Checking that your heating system is working prior to installation.
  • Advising on the best place to install your Nest Thermostat.
  • Installing your Nest Thermostat.
  • Helping you connect the thermostat to WiFi.
  • Providing a quick product intro and demo.

If you already have an existing C wire installed in your home, you’re looking at an installation cost of around $100.

If your home doesn’t already have a C wire, installing this in addition to a Nest Thermostat is likely to cost around $300.


If you don’t want to go through the hassle of having a C wire installed, or you’re looking for a cheaper way to install your Nest Thermostat, you can bypass the need for a C wire by using a C Wire Power Adapter instead.

The main downside is that you’ll have a cable on show, but it can be a much more affordable way of powering your Nest Thermostat.

In Summary

There is no monthly subscription fee for using a Nest Thermostat in your home.

Once you’ve purchased the device, there are no hidden costs to worry about from Nest because their accounts are free, and there are no other paid services you need to sign up for to get full functionality from your Nest Thermostat.

It’s worth mentioning that you will need a WiFi connection to connect your Nest Thermostat to the internet and to let you control it via the Nest app on your smartphone. While it’s unlikely you’ll live in a house without an active WiFi connection, it’s worth noting that this will be an extra indirect cost if you don’t already have broadband available in your home.

Finally, the only extra cost that you potentially need to consider is installation, although this will be a one-off cost instead of an ongoing subscription charge. For a hardwired installation by a professional electrician, you should budget between $100 up to around $300 should your home need a C-Wire installed.

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Author: Tamsin Bright
Writer, ToolCrowd
Tamsin Bright regularly writes about architecture and home design topics and is the editor for the Smart Home and Home Tech sections of ToolCrowd. Tamsin holds a bachelor’s degree in Architecture and loves nothing more than helping people see the potential in their homes and making their lives easier through great design. When she’s not writing for ToolCrowd, you can find Tamsin indulging her passions for graphic design, cooking, gardening, and all things tech. Contact Tamsinarrow_right_alt