Update, 6/9/21: Google is offering free Nest Power Connectors to some customers until July 7th. Eligible customers will receive an email notification from Google.
Nest Learning Thermostat and Nest Thermostat E require very little power, but they don’t work properly without a C wire, which many old homes lack. But now, Google is opening pre-orders for a $25 Nest Power Connector that lets its thermostats work perfectly without a C wire. Pre-orders for the Power Connector begin shipping June 8th.
While Nest thermostats kind of work without a C wire, the reduced power almost always leads to random shutoffs and Wi-Fi disconnects. You can pay an electrician to install a C wire in your home, but a $25 Nest Power Connector is a much more affordable option, and it connects to existing wires on your HVAC control board without the need for drilling holes or running new wires through your walls.
That said, installing the Nest Power Connector is harder than installing a thermostat, and the installation process can vary depending on your HVAC system. That’s why Google offers free online help for those who purchase (or are interested in purchasing) a Nest Power Connector.
The Nest Power Connector requires a 24 VAC system—millivolt and high-voltage systems are incompatible. It works with the Nest Thermostat, Nest Thermostat E, and 3rd gen Nest Learning Thermostat (so you need to identify your thermostat before you buy it). The first and second-gen models of Nest Learning Thermostat are not compatible with the Nest Power Connector.
Nest Power Connector
Did you buy a Nest thermostat only to realize that it requires a C-wire? The Nest Power Connector is a $25 workaround that saves you from hiring an electrician.