How to Disable Your Nest Thermostats Seasonal Savings Program

Smart thermostats are gaining in popularity as more and more homeowners look for ways to reduce their energy costs. These devices can be programmed to automatically adjust the temperature in your home based on your daily schedule. They also have the ability to learn your preferences over time. As a result, you can save money on your energy bills by ensuring that your home is only heated or cooled when you need it. 

Google’s smart thermostat is the Nest, and many homeowners are satisfied with its features and overall efficiency. But one feature–the Seasonal Savings program–may be causing trouble instead of helping your HVAC system. Consistent issues are forcing homeowners to find out how to disable this feature. We’ll share the problems some people are having with Seasonal Savings and provide instructions for how to opt out of the program. 

Many Homeowners Say the Seasonal Savings Program Isn’t Working Like It Should 

Google designed the Seasonal Savings program to help homeowners improve their energy efficiency. During peak HVAC use in the summer and winter, it should automatically adjust the thermostat to balance your preferences with energy efficiency. The program is intended to run without disrupting your sense of comfort, making the biggest changes when you’re away or asleep. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case for many people participating in the program. 

Instead, there are reports that the program is inconsistent and frustrating to use. Homeowners are complaining that the program is actually increasing their energy bills instead of reducing them. And when they try to disable or opt out of Seasonal Savings, they’ve discovered the setting to do so is difficult to find or outright missing. In some cases people have even noticed it being turned back on after it was disabled. 

Smart thermostats are supposed to improve the efficiency of your HVAC system. While automatic temperature adjustments are a common feature in smart thermostats, it shouldn’t override your preferred settings. If your Nest won’t work with your comfort preferences, disabling the Seasonal Savings feature is the right move. 

But First, Why Is This Happening? 

Homeowners are complaining that the Seasonal Savings program was activated on their Nest thermostat without their consent. Why would a smart thermostat you control ignore your settings and opt in for the program? It may be because of an energy-efficiency program you signed up for with your utility company. 

These agreements help you increase your home’s energy efficiency. They may include rebates on new equipment or special offers for renewable energy systems. But many people are surprised to learn they also grant your utility company remote access to your thermostat. If the power grid is experiencing a heavy load, the utility company can take control of your thermostat and adjust the temperature. You may be having trouble with the Seasonal Savings program because a utility company is taking advantage of this remote access. 

But what if the program is malfunctioning or just ignoring your preferences? Whatever the reason may be, you don’t want a feature to increase your energy use without your permission. We’ll walk you through how other users have disabled the Seasonal Savings program. 

How to Disable Your Nest Thermostat’s Seasonal Savings Feature 

A number of people have reported trouble disabling the Seasonal Savings feature. While the location of this setting may be different depending on your specific Nest model, other users are concerned that Google is intentionally making it harder to turn off Seasonal Savings. To make sure you can opt out no matter what, we’ll list the ways other users have had success. 

  1. Overriding Seasonal Savings: Manually adjusting the temperature should override the Seasonal Savings program, but many users have found this isn’t the case. If you notice your Nest consistently reversing your changes, you’ll probably want to disable the feature entirely. 
  1. Disabling the program from the Nest app: Your phone or tablet’s Nest app should have a History option and a Settings option. Google directs users to their History to disable Seasonal Savings, but other users have found this option under Settings. Once disabled, the feature is temporarily off until the following summer or winter. 
  1. Disabling the program from the Nest thermostat: Your thermostat should also have a History option where you can turn off Seasonal Savings, but some homeowners report the disable option is missing. 
  1. Opting out before the program starts: The Seasonal Savings program is only available during summer and winter. Your smart device should receive a notification when the program is about to start, giving you the chance to opt out. 

When Seasonal Savings is active, your Nest will display a small yellow symbol of a leaf. If your Nest is experiencing issues and the Seasonal Savings icon is not visible, your problem may be with another setting entirely. 

Sometimes the Problem Isn’t Seasonal Savings but Another Setting or Program 

Other features on Nest smart thermostats aside from Seasonal Savings can lead to automatic temperature changes. If these features are active during Seasonal Savings, even opting out of the program may not prevent the thermostat from making adjustments. Fortunately, these settings can be disabled. You’ll also have options if the issue is a third party like your power company. 

  1. Turning off Auto-Schedule: The Nest Thermostat E and Nest Learning Thermostat both offer the Auto-Schedule feature, using their ability to learn your preferences to set the ideal schedule. Going into Settings and turning off Auto-Schedule should disable other automatic adjustments like Seasonal Savings. 
  1. Disabling auto switching: Nest thermostats can still switch to eco temperatures if you have an auto-switching feature like Home & Away Routines or Home/Away Assist. These features automatically adjust the temperature when the thermostat detects that no one is home. 
  1. Leaving the utility company’s energy agreement: Since your energy provider may be remotely controlling your Nest thermostat, opting out of the agreement should remove their access. You can find the full details of these agreements through your energy provider. 
  1. Calling Google support: If all else fails, reaching out to Google’s technical support may be of help. Staff can direct you to resetting the Nest or finding the correct setting to disable Seasonal Savings. 

If the Problem Persists, Your Thermostat May Be Malfunctioning 

There’s always the possibility your Nest smart thermostat is just malfunctioning. Electrical problems or software bugs can cause all sorts of issues, including an inconsistent Seasonal Savings program. If you think the problem is isolated to your own thermostat, an experienced technician may be able to help. After all, smart thermostats are still a worthwhile investment for your home’s energy efficiency. 

If you’d like local support for your smart thermostat in the U.S., get in touch with the HVAC experts at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. They can help you determine the best way to disable a stubborn Seasonal Savings program on your Nest thermostat.