Nest officially entered the UK market last year with the launch of its smoke and carbon monoxide detector Protect, but curiously, the Learning Thermostat the company's known for remained exclusive to North America. That changes today, however, with immediate availability of the clever thermostat across the UK. The now Google-owned Nest actually starting working towards the launch over a year ago, but unlike the US and Canada where temperature control systems are fairly standardized and digital thermostats extremely common, Brits have an eclectic mix of boiler setups, and analog/digital thermostats. Making the Learning Thermostat compatible with all these arrangements meant Nest had to conjure up some additional hardware in the form of Heat Link: a box that jacks directly into your boiler and takes orders from the thermostat. You can use existing wall wiring to directly connect the two, but they can just as easily communicate over WiFi all the same.
An optional, £29 stand for the thermostat is also exclusive to the UK market, if mounting isn't appropriate. Otherwise, the thermostat is equipped with all the same fancy features and learning capabilities that Nest believes elevates its product above UK competitors like British Gas' Hive Active Heating or Honeywell's evohome. You can pick up a Learning Thermostat for £179 today from Nest's own website and Amazon, or online and in-store at Apple, John Lewis and B&Q. Professional installation is highly recommended, and for any purchases before April 8th, it's free as long as you redeem the offer within 10 days (Nest can put you in touch with over 200 certified installers across the UK) -- a thermostat plus installation will set you back £249 if you can't take advantage of that deal, or decide you'd rather hold off until winter. Nest has also established a partnership with energy provider npower, which will begin offering thermostat packages in the near future. Furthermore, Nest plans to release a whitepaper later this week detailing how much money its Learning Thermostat can save Brits, and how it arrived at those figures. The UK is just the first step outside of North America for Nest, but certainly not its last, as plans to "aggressively expand" across Europe are under way.