Yes, get people to turn their heating thermostat down by 1 degree C and they save 10% on their heating bill, fact. So show them their heating/energy use and they might change.
This is a misleading generalization and misguided assumption wrapped up into one statement. First of all I think there is an assumption here that people will compromise comfort for efficiency given some peer pressure. The type of people that would compromise comfort for efficiency aren't all that susceptible to peer pressure or are already making that compromise as much as bearable. If this a proposed self control solution, I'm willing to bet either very little people become interested or take advantage of it properly. Self control is supposedly the problem to begin with, right? Giving someone the exact knowledge to help them control them selves really doesn't add anything than. The generalization is that 1 degree will save 10%. Try to cite this. Might be an average but, you'll find that those numbers are actually all over the board depending on various factors. In most cases manually touching the thermostat is not even in the same spirit of a solution to home energy management.
The idea of the Nest thermostat appeals to me because it balances comfort, convenience, and efficiency. I might buy one of those where as I wouldn't spend a dime on a generic programmable one that put me in explicit control. If this is merely a cloud thermometer it leads me to the question, doesn't nest have an api? https://github.com/gboudreau/nest-api. So, is this more of an issue of compiling data?
Again, with such a lack of transparency I feel like I might be making unfair assessment of what is valuable here.
Know any string leaders who might like to get behind this project?
All the strong leaders I know have their own projects and businesses. Step up and put your name on it, or no one else will.