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How your smartphone could reduce your heating bills

Technology is getting more and more complex and helpful everyday and new to the market in the UK are a number of systems that give you a way to control your heating with your smartphone. These systems claim to save you up to £400 a year on your energy bills and all because you can switch off lights and turn on the heat remotely. Some of the giant corporations in the world are snapping up the opportunity to be involved with this new technology, including Google who just purchased Nest for around  £2bn.

This blog takes a look at this new technology and reviews whether or not the savings are real.

Turning the Heat Off

The basic idea behind these systems is to increase the amount of time your heat is off in your home. Instead of setting a timer for when you think you are going to need the heat on each day, these systems let you tailor your heating around your lifestyle. Think about the last time you got home late because you decided to join your colleagues for a drink and dinner after work. Maybe you left for a weekend away in the country and forgot to change your heating settings. In this day and age nobody has a schedule where they are home at the same time everyday, and these new systems allow you to adjust the settings on a day-to-day basis.

What do these systems do?

These new systems allow you to control many elements of your home heating from your smart phone and it goes beyond simply telling it to turn on and off. The most exciting development is the GPS setting. Let’s look at what this is:

GPS: Your heating system at home can use the GPS on your phone to know exactly where you are and can use this information to anticipate when you will arrive home. So say you work in the center of Manchester but you live in South Manchester. When you get in the car, or on the train home, your boiler will track your journey and will ensure your house is as your preferred temperature by the time you step through the front door. It’s like a you have a little person making sure your home is exactly as you want it to be by the time you get home, and it saves energy because it won’t turn on unless you are on your way home.

Weather: Your heating system will also take into account the local weather and will change the heating settings accordingly so you won’t arrive home on a sweltering day to the heat blasting.

Activating from my smartphone?

You can also control the heating from your phone, turning the heat on off, and up and down from work if you need to. You can also manually delay your heat coming on but the idea behind these apps is to make your life as easy as possible.


If you are willing to spend a little more money you can also install a system that gives you the option to heat certain rooms in your home at certain times. Think about it. When you are downstairs cooking, your bedroom is being heated up for no reason at all. Same with the lounge at 6 in the morning when you are upstairs in the shower. You can use your smartphone to work out ‘temperature profiles’ for each zone in your home and you can adjust these zones from anywhere in the world.

How much money does it save?

As we stated above, the companies supplying these systems claim that you can save up to  £400 a year. The manufacturers have claimed it will save up to 27% on your annual bills, which can add up to quite a significant amount. Most of the companies manufacturing these systems claim it will pay for itself within 2 to 3 years.

How much does it cost to install?

It costs around £250 to install a GPS type system of this kind in your home, and it can be used alongside a regular boiler. If you want to install a zoning system it will cost about £850.

Is there a catch?

As with anything, these systems will rely on several factors. The main factors you need to consider are: the size of your home, your lifestyle and the energy-saving measures you already have in your home. If your home is large then you will save more money than a smaller home. If you are never home and you don’t yet have a family, you may see a significant change in your bills.

Have you considered installing a smartphone system in your home? What are you thinking?

1 Comment to How your smartphone could reduce your heating bills

  1. November 4, 2014 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    Interesting overview of GPS type systems. As mentioned in the article, it is important to consider what will be cost effective and energy efficient for each individual situation. The amount you will save is dependent on a number of factors, including your current energy use, how large your property is and how many people are living in your property.

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