Time for a 21st century thermostat

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It’s ironic, a good friend and I discussed the idea of a wifi enabled thermostat around this time last year.  Just after this the Nest came to the US.  Now today in the UK there are a number of offerings.   Interestingly the cheapest I’ve found so far is the Nest at £179.  My market research told me that the price people were prepared to pay was in the £50-100 bracket.  This is what stopped our project, as we could make very little margin on this.  I’m still keen to have one myself and probably would pay up to £150 for one even though the savings would take a few years to recoup this, I’d be happy to have improved convenience.  My question today is, have you – my wide and varied readership – come across (UK available) offerings in addition to those I list below which meet my spec.

  • Totally wireless thermostat (wireless link to boiler, router and battery powered)
  • Work with a Worcester boiler.
  • Controlled via an interface which could be accessed on an Android phone, Mac or PC (web access I’d guess)
  • Good, clear simple programming that worked on a 7 day basis, with four periods per day and the option of a timed holiday over ride (i.e. the standard programme would not be lost but could be re-activated after getting home – automatically on a set day – ideally with an independently programmable option for the day of return itself.
  • Smart – learns the response of the house to the heating and also adjusts depending on the weather via data it can gather from the web (after all, it is linked to the web, so this should be possible)
  • <£150

Systems I’ve come across so far are

  1. Nest – but this is auto learning, not programmable.  It also seemed to be based on US fast response hot air heating systems and I cannot see this working with a UK gas to water CH system that takes two hours to get the house to temperature in the winter. £179
  2. Hive – this seems to be programmable to meet my spec, has the totally wireless thermostat but is in no way ‘clever’ £200
  3. Tado – works by tracking where your smart phone is. I cannot see how this would work with a household of three people and cannot see how it would know for people who regularly are close to home but don’t intend to go home, that this was your plan.  It has it’s audience, but I don’t think I’m one of them.
  4. Evohome (Honeywell) – I think this meets all my technical requirements (not 100% sure if the thermostat is battery powered though) but at a cost of £337 plus installation, well outside my limit.
  5. Inspire – not ‘clever’, battery powered but not wirelessly linked to the boiler – £125 (inside budget)
  6. Heatmiser – research ongoing – does not appear to be fully wireless – wide range at range of prices.
  7. ???  What else is out there dear reader?

 

Opinion Survey – Home thermostat costs

Lux Products' Model TX900TS Touch Screen Therm...

Lux Products’ Model TX900TS Touch Screen Thermostat. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A friend and I are working on a ‘smart’ wifi enabled timer thermostat to control central heating systems. If it could save you 10% of your heating costs pa. how much would you be prepared to pay for the hardware? We are working on a concept which is very simply to fit.