MBJ: Memphis firm inks national deal with Google sister company
A Memphis-based company with almost $1 billion in annual sales just inked a national partnership with Nest Labs, Inc., the Google-affiliated provider of smart home products.
American Residential Services (ARS) will now start including Nest thermostats as a standard component of most of its middle- and upper tier residential HVAC system installations.
The agreement makes ARS Nest’s largest home service provider “by far,” said ARS president Luis Orbegoso. He added that he expects his company, which is the largest provider of air conditioning units in the U.S., to install thousands of the thermostats over the next two months.
“It really allows us to reinvent ourselves,” Orbegoso said. “This puts us right in the middle of the connected and smart home movement … which is coming upon us like a tidal wave.”
Orbegoso said the partnership with Nest, which is under the Alphabet Inc. umbrella, came about because the Silicon Valley-based company realized it needed to partner with home service providers so it could sell to “do-it-for-me” consumers along with its traditional base of “do-it-yourself” consumers.
“Nest was very interested in partnering with ARS and very proactive in contacting us,” Orbegoso said.
With the partnership, Nest has made all of its employees available to aid in the “extensive” training to teach ARS’ almost 7,000 employees about the product, Orbegoso said. The training will include not just how to install and service Nest’s thermostats but also how to install Nest’s other products, such as its cameras and smoke alarms.
The partnership will also give ARS access to other Google products, such as Google Home.
“It’s a paradigm shift. We could talk air conditioning [with our clients] until the cows come home. … This allows us to have a different type of conversation with our customers,” said Orbegoso.
The Nest thermostat learns the temperatures a homeowner prefers and then programs itself. Independent studies have shown that the Nest thermostat saves homeowners an average of 10 to 12 percent on heating costs and 15 percent on cooling costs, according to an ARS news release.