The deal that Nest struck with Texas energy provider Reliant to have the energy retailer provide a Nest thermostat free in exchange for a two year energy contract says a lot about the potential of deregulated energy markets. In Texas the energy generator is separate from the retailer (the company that sends you your bill). You often have multiple players in each part of the market. The theoretical benefit of all this is that the retailer has an incentive to strike the best deals with transmission companies and generators as well as distinguish itself with its customers. And a free Nest thermostat sounds like a great way to separate yourself from the crowd.