Can the Nest thermostat cut your energy bill?We try out the latest smart heating control

26 October 2014

Nest Learning Thermostat

The Nest Learning Thermometer claims to 'learn' your schedule

The Nest Learning Thermostat says that it will help you use less energy when heating your home. But can a £249 smart heating control really save you money? 

In theory, the Nest smart heating control gives you greater control over when your heating turns on. You can program the Nest learning thermostat remotely over the internet from a computer or smartphone, and Nest will also sense when you're in and learn what temperature you like.

Our researcher, who tried it out, said: 'I rarely have to think about my heating in the evening, as Nest kicks in and turns it on before I've even noticed the cold'. And it looks stylish too, becoming 'a bit of a talking point' in her hallway.

But retailing for £249 including installation, the Nest needs to impact bills substantially to warrant the expense. See whether we think it's worth splashing out for, and watch our video to see the control in action, in our Nest thermostat first look review.

Better than Hive Active Heating?

One of the most attractive sounding features of the Nest is that it claims to 'learn' your schedule - from when you leave and return to your home, to when you go to bed. The idea is that it can intuitively turn on and off your heating, depending on when you need it most.

Hive Active Heating - another popular smart heating control that we have previously tried out - doesn't boast this function, but is £50 cheaper. See what we thought of this alternative control in our first look Hive thermostat review.

Smart heating controls explained

Smart heating controls like Nest are growing in popularity. Because you can program them from your smart phone, you can set them to turn on or off when you wish. So if you unexpectedly come home late in the evening, you won't be wasting money heating an empty home.

Some have other features, such as the ability to control individual rooms in your home and GPS tracking - so that it knows when you are approaching your home and turns on the heating.

We explain all you need to know about the different features and costs of the popular smart heating control brands - from Nest and Hive, to Honeywell and Heatmiser - and help you decide whether your home would benefit from installation in our smart heating controls guide.

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