This review is not sponsored or endorsed by British Gas. This are my own personal views.
Yesterday, while getting my annual boiler service done, I was speaking to the engineer about thermostatic valves and general controlling of the heating when he mentioned something he had in his house ( I know it sounds like a sales pitch, but this engineer has been to my house before and it was just chatting, no sales stuff ). I couldnt resist it. An impulse buy, that if it expands like it should be capable of doing, will be great. Its a ‘smart’ system call Hive. Its run by British Gas ( as the title suggests ) and basically its a control system that lets you control your heating from your pc, phone or tablet ( not yet windows phones apparently ). If you have a normal hot water boiler, then you can control the water and the heating. You can even boost the water for an hour from your phone. If, like me, you have a combi boiler, then you can only control the heating. At this point. Its handy as you only heat your home when you need to. British Gas reckon you can save up to £150 every year on your energy bill.
You can set temperature alerts so that it alerts you if your house if above or below temperature you set when you reach a certain distance from home, either leaving home or coming home, like from work. You can either knock the heating off then or turn it on so its warm and cosy when you get home in the winter.
Check this video about it.
The system is connected to your broadband line via your router, which means if you have a problem, the British Gas ‘ Geek Squad’ can connect to your heating system, and fix your problems. Also it means you can connect to your heating system from anywhere in the world from your mobile device or computer. Great if you leave the house and remember you left the heating on, or go on holiday and forgot to turn the heating and hot water off.
Hive, also has frost protection which by default is set to 7 degrees to protect you system and home. So if the temperature drops below 7 degrees it will heat the heating up until its above 7.
With it being connected to the internet, British Gas can update Hive with new features over time. Theres a great forum where you can submit ideas and see the progress of other ones already submitted and give your vote to them if you like them. Granted, some ideas take a while to implement. A lot longer than some users want to wait.
And this is what the main screen of the Android app looks like. It shows the indoor temperature, local temperature and temperature the heating is set to. Also if the heating / water, is set to schedule, manual or off.
You can also set up schedules for the heating to go on and off via the app or pc. At the moment, a lot of users complain theres not enough schedules available. British Gas are looking into updating it with more.
Theres loads of ideas been submitted, which over time, it could be capible of. Like auto switching lamps on, and maybes connecting to intruder alarms ( if British Gas ever bring that system back ). Loads of ideas. Maybes even connecting to your smart meter to check your gas and electricity usage for your bills etc.
Anyway, I have only had it a day and its been to hot so far to use the heating so the real test will come in the winter or when the temperature drops. The potential is good though. I just hope British Gas don’t scrap this scheme like they have others in the past.
One tip. I saved 20 quid getting the engineer to do it there and then as opposed to calling them out to fit it. So if you have a service coming up maybes consider it for then.
You can also buy these from the Apple shop and British Gas will fit it for you. I think you just redeem the voucher in the box, from what I was told.
Current price is 199.00 from Apple and British Gas. I saved 20 quid by getting the engineer who was already there to do it so got it for 179.00.
Sounds a lot, but I got a lovely new thermostat and have a lot more control over the heating and I’m ready for new stuff in the future with this ‘smart’ system.