Hive Smart Heating
By now, most people will be familiar with the British Gas Hive advert. This is the horrendously catchy/annoying (is there a difference?) advert accompanied by loads of faux-quaint verses, all of which end in ‘while Hive is busy controlling your heating back home.’ Yes, that’s the one. Good luck getting that out of your head.
Anyhow, the whole premise of the advert (the graphics make up somewhat for its wannabe-hipster vibe) is that, no matter what shenanigans you get up to out of the house, you can rest assured that Hive will be controlling your heating back home.
So, what exactly is Hive?
Hive is just one of many smart heating devices, which generally connect to your home’s Wi-Fi and enable you to have some control over your central heating through your smartphone. In Hive’s case, you are able to set a weekly heating schedule, optimised for the times at which people leave/arrive back home during the day. In addition, alerts can be set up which will warn the user if they’ve left the heating on when out of the house. The device comes with a free app which can be installed on iOS and Android phones and allows the user to have complete control over their heating and hot water when out of the house.
This does, however, raise a few issues. For instance, who controls Hive? If one parent had access to the app, they may choose to switch off the central heating/hot water when others are still in the house. Obviously these can be switched back on manually, but it could still be inconvenient for those concerned. In addition, security is an oft-voiced concern with smart heating apps, and perhaps rightfully so. After all, a user’s account can be accessed through the British Gas website, raising the possibility that your heating could, potentially, be accessed by a stranger.
British Gas do claim that the device can help save up to £150 each year, although it seems that for this to happen the user would need to have been ridiculously energy-wasting before installing Hive; the sort of person who leaves their heating on when on holiday, or has constantly boiling water in the tank.