British Gas has announced plans to launch a range of services under the Hive brand, that will give users the ability to control energy settings remotely using their smartphone.
By giving users an easier way to access controls, British Gas estimate it could save users up to £150 per year from their heating bills.
The Hive Active Heating app will let users log in, to set schedules for the activation of their heating, rather than using a standard pre set method. This lets users heat their home and water only when needed, such as when they leave the office for home, so it will be nice and cosy when they arrive.
The device, which costs £199, connects customers existing equipment to the internet, and works with a new wireless thermostat installed by a British Gas engineer, and a hub which is plugged into the broadband router. Installation costs would be around £80.
“With almost 22 million households in the UK connected to the internet, and mobile phone use almost universal among adults, we are increasingly relying on technology to manage everyday activities,” said Nina Bhatia, Managing Director of British Gas Connected Homes. “But in the way we use energy, there has been limited innovation since the mass adoption of central heating in the 1970's. Using Hive could revolutionise the way we manage our homes.”
After the Hive product launch, British Gas hope they will be able to offer future devices under the Hive name, all designed to make internet connected homes an everyday reality. With Hive, users will be able to control their heating online, via a mobile app or even by text message, turning heating on and off, adjusting the schedule and temperature from wherever you happen to be. Hot water control will allow you to heat water remotely, so you can ensure there is a plentiful supply of hot water at home ready for your shower or a nice warm bath.
The Hive Active Heating unit will be launched on the 14th October, and after a large marketing push will be made available to purchase from the 21st October.