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Testing the Nest thermostat: a personal Nest-i-mony

Photo of Kari Sorensen

Kari Sorensen, a dog lover, restaurant owner and avid user of technology, is the winner of a Nest thermostat provided by Lightly.

Kari Sorensen runs a restaurant, cooks gourmet meals, oversees an orchard, concocts herbal teas and supplements, rescues abandoned dogs and now, owns a Nest Learning Thermostat.

Sorensen won Chelan PUD’s Lightly Facebook drawing for the Nest. Alpine Aire of Wenatchee installed the Nest at her home on Oct. 22.

Sorensen reports she’s already enjoying the thermostat. She’s been “teaching” it about her habits so it can make adjustments automatically. The Nest learns behaviors in a week, then programs itself to adjust when occupants are away, activating features to save energy. 

“It used to be that I would check my Facebook first thing in the morning,” she said. “Now I check the Nest for my energy usage. The Nest knows now that I want to see that so when I walk by it lights up. It’s the craziest thing. So it’s learning.”

She’s promised to keep us informed through posts on Facebook. We’ll call it a personal Nest-i-mony.

Sorensen uses both an iPad and an iPhone, which she connected seamlessly to the Nest for remote operation.  She said she’s always interested in saving energy, and might have purchased a Nest if she hadn’t won the random drawing.

“I really wanted to not use so much energy,” she said. “If everybody cut down a little bit, it would go a long way toward solving energy problems. I don’t want to be a resource hog.

“The more energy I can save, the more the PUD has to sell on the open market at a higher rate. That keeps all our rates low. Even though energy is inexpensive here, that doesn’t mean we should waste it.”

Sorensen’s home in Manson is an energy challenge. Built in 1943 with additions in the ’60s, the 4,000-square-foot home can be cold and drafty. In the past six years, Sorensen has added a new heating/cooling system, doors and windows (she used the PUD’s rebate program for windows), Energy Star appliances and a new roof.

The home was built by Harold and Eva Stutzman. It’s perched amid nine acres of berry bushes, apples and flowers. A home constructed by her great-great grandfather, Amos B. Peters, sits across the street.

Sorensen is the owner/manager of the popular Blueberry Hills restaurant. Her personal account of being a fifth generation farmer and developing the “down home scratch country cookin’ ” restaurant is on the Blueberry Hills website.

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