On January 13, the building industry was abuzz with the news that Google had nabbed home automation device manufacturer Nest Labs for a whopping $3.2 billion. Nest has carved out a niche will sleekly designed thermostats that learn as they go, recording homeowners behaviors in terms of space occupancy and adapting to their habits to operate more efficiently while also maximizing comfort. With the infusion of Google's cash and tech brainpower, could this purchase mean a larger array of smart home technology will soon flood the market?

Not so fast, says GreenBiz's Patrick Hunt. In fact, he argues, the Google purchase could be bad news for energy efficiency advocates, turning one of Nest's biggest selling points into a big problem for encouraging wider energy efficiency.

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