Have you got a smart thermostat? Then we'd love to hear from you!

  • 20 September 2019
  • 9 replies

Userlevel 6

We, the OVO Energy research team, are conducting some research in order to understand our customers' expectations around smart thermostats and in particular, how they use them in their everyday lives.

We hope that by understanding your expectations and perspective in detail, we can identify and solve real, valuable problems for you.

If you have a smart thermostat, we would love to hear your feedback through this survey.

@ITGeek123 @Transparent @PeterR1947 @SianiAnni @Peetee @Barnabee @Phil_H

9 replies

Sorry, I dont have any smart tech in the house.
Userlevel 6
Badge +1
I have a Smart thermostat to control my heating from Inspire Home Automation https://www.inspirehomeautomation.co.uk/ very simple to fit, just replaced the existing thermostat, connects wirelessly to my router and has an app on my iPhone and iPad.

So anywhere I have internet access I can control my heating, in fact I’ve just turned it off from Cyprus as I forgot when we left home on Wednesday.

It has four profiles which I can set up although I only use two, Summer and Winter and you can set different temperatures at different times of the day, each profile has week and weekend settings. It also has a Geofencing option which I keep meaning to set up
Userlevel 6
That's okay, @Phil_H! :)

I'm so jealous you're on holiday, @PeterR1947, it's so nice to get away! If you've got a spare minute or two, could you fill in this survey? 😄
Userlevel 6
Badge +1
Hi @Eva_OVO I think I completed it, some of the options were in Greek script which was a bit of a challenge 🤓
Userlevel 4
We don't have one yet, but the geek in me would love one. Although our current thermostat is about 8 yrs old, it was state of the art at the time, battery operated WiFi connected. And apart from the fact we can't control from our phones it's actually very sophisticated as it is. Can set multiple time slots, can move it from room to room, very easy to operate, and we are careful with how we use it, turning down the heat setting when we leave the house etc. Smart thermostats are often promoted as money savers, but for us, the way we currently use our thermostat and as much as I enjoy twiddling around with our lights (Phillips hue, a couple of cheap and cheerful colour smart LED strips from China, and semi smart aquarium lights) I can't see that a smart thermostat will pay for itself very quickly. We do have several Alexas in the house, I love smart tech, just can't quite justify discarding the current thermostat. Protecting the planet is also about reduce, reuse, recycle. There is a carbon cost to changing something that works very well still.

So I'm going to be cheeky and offer a little suggestion. I'm currently struggling with the cost of a new 2 Yr fix with OVO vs several of the big energy Co's (although OVO has just acquired that status with the acquisition of SSE). If we didn't all ready have the smart ev charger, that would be enough to get us to continue with ev everywhere. The polar card is unfortunately not very useful to us living in East Yorkshire, it's very sparse on public chargers. So how about a smart thermostat incentive, of some kind? . But we don't need a new boiler. And even better, I'd love smart trv's. Currently, renewal at this price is a bit tough on the pocket, for the same fuel that we can buy elsewhere at about 20% cheaper. An incentive that is useful to us would definitely sweeten the deal.

Just a thought.
Userlevel 7
Badge +4
No I don't have a "Smart" thermostat either.

My house is separated into zones, usually defined as a room. Each zone has its own combined thermostat/timeclock positioned about 1.6m above floor level.

I set the times at which I want each zone to reach a certain temperature. The 'stat controls valves on a manifold which allows water at 45º to flow into the underfloor heating pipes for that zone.

Each floor has its own manifold. This is the one for the 1st floor, sited next to the 300-litre thermal store. In this photo, four of the possible seven positions have pipework connected, each with its own motorised valve:

Here's an early photo of UFH pipes being installed into a floor which is now a functional en-suite shower room. The white PEX pipe is held in place by recesses in the black aluminium heat spreader plates.

"Wet" underfloor heating like this is much more efficient than radiators, especially when being supplied from a thermal store. It avoids the need to raise water temperature to 70º-plus, and thus keeps a gas boiler in "condensing mode".

Smart thermostats are really aimed at households where there is a single boiler connected to a radiator circuit. In order to lower energy costs, the house is allowed to cool down when unoccupied, typically during the working day.

If houses were built "properly", including adequate levels of insulation and avoiding the use of gas combi-boilers, then there would be very little temperature drop during the day anyway.

The market for Smart thermostats exists because we are still building houses that are inefficient in their energy usage. That's why the Government has proposed significant changes to Part-L of the Building Regulations (Conservation of Fuel & Power).
Userlevel 4
@Transparent interesting points there. In fact I would love an air source heat pump system, but again, it's back to discarding an existing working item when it doesn't yet need replacing.
Survey sent. I had Nest at my old place, and Hive at the new place so have experience of both although they both have their own pros and cons. I have also a smart home throughout the house but I can't say I use the intergration or automation a great deal. Probably the best use is with Alexa/Google Home to control the temperature by voice and with smart speakers dotted around the home it means you aren't having to use your phone (which many will find they use too much already!) to do the little things.
Userlevel 7
Great thanks for getting involved @simonbkUK much appreciated!!