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How we’re partnering with the energy industry on Nest Renew

Today, Google announced Nest Renew — a service built on the premise that to address climate change, we need a more flexible electricity grid. And that grid should be integrated with a wide range of distributed energy resources, like those found in smart homes.But we can’t accomplish this without engaged consumers and a broad coalition…

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Today, Google announced Nest Renew — a service built on the premise that to address climate change, we need a more flexible electricity grid. And that grid should be integrated with a wide range of distributed energy resources, like those found in smart homes.

But we can’t accomplish this without engaged consumers and a broad coalition of both local and national partners working together. That’s why today, we’re partnering with a number of energy providers and nonprofits that are committed to collaborating to create a clean energy future.

How we’re partnering with energy providers

To start, we’re partnering with AES, Consumers Energy, Duke Energy, NRG, Portland General Electric, Southern California Edison and Southern Company — some of the most innovative energy providers in the country that are committed to the Nest Renew vision and a carbon-free, resilient energy grid. These partners have provided invaluable insight and feedback as we’ve defined the Nest Renew service.

Through Nest Renew, energy providers will have new opportunities to engage consumers with time-of-use rates, increase demand response program participation and facilitate consumer support for renewable energy. For customers, it will be an opportunity to better understand and control their energy usage and prioritize the use of carbon-free energy.

Nest Renew also will increase enrollments in energy provider-sponsored Rush Hour Rewards programs, which let customers earn rewards for using less when energy consumption is high and make it easier for utilities to manage the grid during times of peak demand. We’re already working with a number of partners to deliver these programs in over 80 utility territories and wholesale markets, covering more than 40% of consumers in the U.S.

We’re also partnering with Uplight to make it easier in the future for customers to link their utility accounts to unlock personalized energy savings insights, program recommendations and device rebates. Together, we aim to help customers and utilities reach their load management goals.

This is just the start of our collaboration on Nest Renew. We’re always looking to partner with more energy providers on our work towards decarbonization.

How we’re partnering on Clean Energy Match

We’re also working with partners to support the growth of clean energy with Nest Renew Premium’s Clean Energy Match. During early preview, we will source Nest Renew’s renewable energy credits from the Southern Company Bethel Wind plant in Castro County, Texas. In 2023, they will also come from the future Roseland Solar project in Falls County, TX. These plants will both help meet Google’s ongoing commitment to match 100% of its global annual electricity use with renewable energy and support its goal to operate entirely on 24/7 carbon-free energy by 2030. You can learn more about Clean Energy Match in our deep dive article.

We’re also partnering with AES and NRG to identify or develop the wind and solar that can generate RECs for Clean Energy Match, as well as collaborating with Consumers and SCE with the aim of supporting their renewable deployment efforts.

How we’re partnering with nonprofits

Through the Energy Impact Program, customers earn Leafs by actively using Nest Renew and taking actions at home that can save energy and help the environment. As they reach certain Leaf milestones, in certain states they can vote to direct Nest Renew funds to their choice of nonprofits from our list of partners across the U.S. Our founding nonprofit partners are GRID Alternatives and Elevate. We’ll work with them to understand how Nest Renew can have the most impact.

And we’re always looking to collaborate with more local partners to expand the reach of the Energy Impact Program.

Learn more

You can learn more about Nest Renew in our blog post, as well as our deep dive into the service. You can also read a white paper by RMI, formerly the Rocky Mountain Institute, which concludes that products like Nest Renew could significantly reduce the carbon emissions associated with household energy use.

According to RMI, if 10 million households participate, Nest Renew could address approximately 7% of the gap between today’s level of household emissions and a 50% reduction in line with the current overall U.S. policy target. That’s the equivalent of powering about 50 million EVs with a cleaner grid each year, as opposed to today’s fossil-fuel heavy grid.

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Bay View is open — the first campus built by Google

Taking green building to a new scaleTo deliver on our commitment to operate every hour of every day on carbon-free energy by 2030, we prioritized renewable energy and maximized the solar potential of our buildings. Bay View’s first-of-its-kind dragonscale solar skin and nearby wind farms will power it on carbon-free energy 90% of the time.The…

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Taking green building to a new scale

To deliver on our commitment to operate every hour of every day on carbon-free energy by 2030, we prioritized renewable energy and maximized the solar potential of our buildings. Bay View’s first-of-its-kind dragonscale solar skin and nearby wind farms will power it on carbon-free energy 90% of the time.

The campus is also on track to be the largest project certified by the International Living Future Institute (ILFI) under any of their programs, at any certification level. As part of ILFI’s Living Building Challenge, we’re targeting a Water Petal certification, meaning the site is net-positive with all non-potable water demands being met using the recycled water generated on site. Above-ground ponds that gather rainwater year round and a building wastewater treatment system serve as water sources for cooling towers, flushing toilets and irrigating the landscape. This is a big step toward delivering on our commitment to replenish 120% of the water we consume by 2030.

It doesn’t stop there. Bay View is an example of an all-electric campus and shows what’s possible in regenerative building. Here’s how:

  • The two kitchens that serve seven cafes are equipped with electric equipment rather than gas — a template for fully carbon-free cafes and kitchens.
  • There are 17.3 acres of high-value natural areas — including wet meadows, woodlands and a marsh — that are designed to reestablish native landscapes and rehabilitate Bay Area wetlands. Something that’s especially important as Bay View sits close to the San Francisco Bay.
  • The water retention ponds not only collect water for reuse, but also provide nature restoration, sea level rise protection, and access to the beauty of natural wetlands. New willow groves along the stormwater ponds provide resources for wildlife.
  • The integrated geothermal pile system will help heat and cool the campus. The massive geoexchange field is integrated into the structural system, reducing the amount of water typically used for cooling by 90% — that’s equal to five million gallons of water annually.

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Seniors search what they see, using a new Lens

“Often, when I go for a walk, I stumble upon an unknown flower or a tree. Now I can just take a picture to discover what kind of plant I am standing before,” Verner Madsen, one of the participants, remarked. “I don’t need to bring my encyclopedia. It is really smart and helpful.”Seniors in a…

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“Often, when I go for a walk, I stumble upon an unknown flower or a tree. Now I can just take a picture to discover what kind of plant I am standing before,” Verner Madsen, one of the participants, remarked. “I don’t need to bring my encyclopedia. It is really smart and helpful.”

Seniors in a country like Denmark are generally very tech savvy, but with digitization constantly advancing — accelerating even faster during two years of COVID-19 — some seniors risk being left behind, creating gaps between generations. During worldwide lockdowns, technological tools have helped seniors stay connected with their family and friends, and smartphone features have helped improve everyday life. One key element of that is delivering accurate and useful information when needed. And for that, typed words on a smartphone keyboard can often be substituted with a visual search, using a single tap on the screen.

Being able to “search what you see” in this way was an eye-opener to many. As the day ended, another avid participant, Henrik Rasmussen, declared he was heading straight home to continue his practice.

“I thought I was up to speed on digital developments, but after today I realize that I still have a lot to learn and discover,” he said.

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Meet the entrepreneur connecting Kenyans to healthy food

When Binti Mwallau started Hasanat Ventures, her dairy processing company in Kenya, she expected some resistance from her peers in an industry dominated by men. But she was surprised to run into more skepticism from her customers. Despite her background in finance and biochemistry, many of them questioned her credibility as a woman entrepreneur.Worried that…

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When Binti Mwallau started Hasanat Ventures, her dairy processing company in Kenya, she expected some resistance from her peers in an industry dominated by men. But she was surprised to run into more skepticism from her customers. Despite her background in finance and biochemistry, many of them questioned her credibility as a woman entrepreneur.

Worried that her gender would affect Hasanat Ventures’ reputation, Binti considered hiring a man as the face of the business. But she eventually decided against it, standing firm in her pride as a solo founder and committed to tearing down the perception that women-run businesses in Africa aren’t as successful as those run by men.

“I think we should be challenging the outdated narrative that businesses run by men are guaranteed to be more successful,” Binti says. “Based on research, we’ve seen that businesses run by women actually perform better. We should use this as an opportunity to prove that as a woman, you do stand a chance to succeed in everything that you do.”

Just as important to Binti as breaking this bias was giving Kenyans more access to affordable nutrition. “I realized that many people couldn’t afford premium yogurt. So we entered the market with a high-quality product that’s affordable for lower and middle-income earners who have become more health-conscious,” she says.

Binti knew she had to drive awareness for her brand, particularly to reach Kenyans who needed convincing about yogurt’s health benefits. So she turned to Google Digital Skills for Africa, which offers virtual classes to help entrepreneurs grow their skills and businesses, and completed a digital marketing course to help her get Hasanat Ventures online.

“After participating in the course, we knew our online presence had to be bigger than just social media,” Binti says. “Now that we have a fully functional website, we are actually getting leads from outside Kenya.”

As part of the course, Binti learned how to use Google Analytics to measure her website’s performance. She could now monitor traffic insights, analyze pageviews and better understand who was visiting her site.

Binti’s determination and passion for her business are showing up in the results. In its first year, Hasanat Ventures supplied over 300 retailers with affordable dairy products. Three years later, it’s grown to support more than 50 farmers and even built its own production facility to keep up with demand.

“I really want to make sure that I am visible and speaking up in spaces women don’t usually have access to,” Binti says. “As Hasanat Ventures continues to grow, I am confident I can help change the perception of African women in business.”

58% of Africa’s entrepreneurs are women. That’s why we’re empowering them with the platform and tools to grow their businesses. Learn more about our #LookMeUp campaign, highlighting Africa’s women entrepreneurs like Binti who are working to break the bias.

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