Smart thermostats have seen a huge rise in popularity over the last 5 years. Many energy companies have described smart thermostats as the best way to control your gas and electricity supply. However there are many people out there that still do not know exactly what these smart thermostats are.
Smart thermostats are designed to help you control your home’s central heating remotely. Smart thermostats also offer features that allow you to tailor your central heating to the specific needs of your lifestyle. Whether this means that your heating adjusts itself automatically according to the time of day or when you leave or enter your house, smart thermostats are designed to make your life easier.
By using a smart thermostat you can manage your energy use more efficiently. This means you could save a lot of money on your gas and electricity bills.
Normal thermostats allow you to change the warmth of your home. They normally do this through a dial or control pad of some sort. Smart thermostats on the other hand, give you complete command of your home’s central heating.
This means that you will be able to control your heating based on a number of different factors. Smart thermostats allow you to change the level of heating in your home based on the time of day, the outside weather and who’s in your home. Smart thermostats also offer you the ability to control your central heating remotely by using your smart phone or tablet.
Another feature that smart thermostats offer is a display of your energy consumption in real time. This allows you to see exactly how much energy you are using and decide if it’s necessary to your requirements.
Smart thermostats are a great way of monitoring your home’s gas and electricity usage. With live information on how much energy you’re using, it’s a brilliant tool for making your home more efficient at using the power that you’re paying for. This means you can save a lot of money on your gas and electricity bills.
Another advantage that smart thermostats offer is comfort. They allow you to operate your heating remotely, using a smartphone or tablet. This means that if you go to work or leave your home for any period, you can make sure that your heating is switched off whilst you’re out. When you’re on your way back home you can simply log in on your phone and turn it on again. This means that you can always make sure your home is warm when you want it to be, without having to pay for heating an empty house.
Smart thermostats also offer you a wide range of statistical data about how your home is heated. This allows you to access information on how long it takes to heat your house, the times which your energy use is the highest and times when you may want to cut down on your energy consumption. Using a smart thermostat correctly can lead to huge savings on your gas and electricity bills.
There many smart thermostats that are currently available on the UK market. Here are some of the most widely used smart thermostats out there:
Hive – British Gas
£199 with installation
Hive, the smart thermostat from British Gas, is designed to put control of your heating into your hands. It allows you to create detailed heating schedules for your home to maximise efficiency and cut down on waste. It also contains other handy features, such as a setting that will automatically switch on your central heating if your pipes are at risk of freezing.
Hive is controlled remotely through an app that you can download onto any smartphone or tablet. The device itself has a dashboard display that provides you with live information on how much energy you’re using and allows you to change the temperature of your home, just as a normal thermostat would do.
The main appeal of Hive is that it gives you control of your heating. Some smart thermostats are designed to automatically create your heating schedule, with minimal input from you. Whilst this style of smart thermostat appeals to many, some people are uncomfortable will the amount of data that these thermostats collect. If you’d rather not trust decisions on your home’s heating to an automated system, then Hive offers you a great alternative that allows you to create your own plan.
Here’s what Nina Bhatia of British Gas had to say about Hive:
“Hive puts control of heating and hot water ﬁrmly in the hands of our customers. No one is better placed to do this than British Gas. We can join the dots between the supply of energy, insight into consumption and the means to control it, with a British Gas-installed product and a beautiful, modern, intuitive app.”
Techradar.com : 4/5
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Techadvisor.com : 4/5
Nest – Google
£249 with installation
Nest, the smart thermostat by Google, is designed to deliver you a personalised heating plan, based on your behaviour and lifestyle. By taking into account your habits, such as when you’re in the house and when you wake up, the hope is that Nest will eventually have built up enough data about you that you will never have to change the heating in your house by hand.
Nest also has a motion sensor built into it. This allows it to see when you are at home, if it notices that your house is empty then it will automatically switch off your heating for you. Whilst Nest has the potential to run completely by itself, it does also offer features such as remote control of your heating. It can also be accessed via your smartphone or tablet.
Like most smart thermostats Nest will provide you with real time information on your energy usage. This allows you to monitor how much energy you are using and see where you might be able to save money. It has an indicator that appears when you are running your energy efficiently and makes it easier for you to be aware of when you may be overspending unnecessarily.
Recently Nest has been updated to remember what temperatures you have set it to at certain times throughout the year. This means that over the course of a year it will build up this information and set your heating schedule accordingly.
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Connect – ScottishPower
Cost- Price on Demand
Connect is only available to ScottishPower customers and comes in two price plans. You can either opt to pay £12.69 per month for two years, or you can reduce this by paying an upfront fee of £66 and then £9.94. This includes installation by a ScottishPower engineer.
Connect, the smart thermostat from ScottishPower, is a wireless thermostat system that is similar to Hive by British Gas. Like Hive, Connect aims at delivering control of your home’s heating system directly into your hands.
Connect allows you to create a daily heating plan for your house. It also allows you to operate your heating system remotely from your smartphone or tablet. The Connect smart thermostat also has a handy feature that allows you to pause your daily heating schedule. This means that if you are running late, you can pause your heating plan so that you don’t waste energy on heating your home when you’re not in it.
£199 purchase/£4.99 per month rental
If you choose to rent the device, you can claim a refund on everything you paid if you do not see £100 worth of savings in the first year.
tado° is a German-based product that operates in a similar way to Nest. This smart thermostat aims to deliver you automatically created heating plans. It is designed to monitor your lifestyle and create a heating regime that suits you.
This smart thermostat uses your smartphone to monitor your behaviour and keep track of your heating preferences. It also monitors the weather in your area and adjusts the temperature in your home to compensate for hot or cold days.
The founder of tado° had this to say:
“We were not convinced by any of the solutions available on the market. We were looking for a solution that, in terms of design and function, fits in perfectly with people’s lives – not the other way around.”
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Evohome – Honeywell
£249 for base unit not including installation
£70 for each “smart zone”
The Evohome smart thermostat is designed to allow you to split your homes heating system into various zones around your house. This smart thermostat allows you to choose individual parts of your house that you wish to heat up. This means that if your alone in your home and you are only going to be in the living room, you can remotely tell your smart thermostat to not heat up the other areas in your house. This allows you to save a lot of wasted energy and therefore saves you money on gas bills.
Evohome operates using a dashboard system that provides you with all the information you’ll need about your energy usage. It allows you to create daily heating schedules so that your home is always at the temperature that you need it to be. As with other smart thermostats it can be accessed remotely via your smartphone or tablet, allowing you to change your homes temperature from anywhere in the world.
Evohome smart thermostats also learn how your heating system warms your home. This means that it can reach your desired temperature by using the most efficient means possible. It is also programmed to sense changes in temperature that can result from an open window or door, when it recognises this it will adapt to maintain your preferred temperature.
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£265 with installation
The HeatMiser Neo smart thermostat allows you to creating individual heating zones in your house. You can set up timers for each room and adjust them all remotely from your smartphone or tablet. It is also has a feature that detects when you’re getting close to your house, when it senses this it will automatically turn your heating on for you so that its warmed up for when you get back.
Like the other smart thermostats, HeatMiser Neo offers you remote control of your heating system. It also provides you with real time information on your energy usage and statistical data on your consumptions patterns.
HeatSmart – EDF Energy
£199 including installation
HeatSmart, the smart thermostat from EDF, is the latest addition to the numerous smart thermostats available on the market. HeatSmart is available to anyone, not only EDF’s Customers.
This attractive, clean device was designed by Phillipe Starck and comes in a range of personalised colours. It has the remote access feature and also allows you to create schedules that are fitted to your daily routines. It can be controlled via an app on smartphones and tablets.
It also has a feature that allows it to adapt to the weather and compensate for hot or cold days. Along with changing your heating with the weather, this smart thermostat will also automatically detect when your pipes are at risk of freezing. When it detects this it will turn your heating on to ensure that your system does not ice up.