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How smartphones can cut heating bills by a quarter

January 22, 2014

Have you ever thought about using a smartphone to control your central heating?

A number of systems are now on sale in the UK, and they promise big savings.

One being launched this month claims it can save you as much as £400 a year on your energy bill.

Certainly the internet giant Google seems to have recognised the potential for the technology, having just snapped up the US manufacturer Nest for about £2bn.

But how real are the savings, and who could benefit?

Weather forecast
All these systems work by maximising the time your heating is switched off. And switching it on only when you need it.

So think of the last time you went out for the evening and left your heating on. Or got home late from work.

smartphone
Room temperatures can be individually controlled
Or maybe you did not need the hot water, having showered at the swimming pool.

But many of these devices are far more sophisticated than simply switching your heating off and on remotely.

Using GPS technology, phones now know exactly where you are, and using that knowledge, systems can anticipate when you are likely to get home.

So when Will Moore begins his journey home from London to Kent, his boiler in effect tracks his progress, and makes sure the house is up to temperature only at the moment he walks through the door.

It will even take account of the local weather forecast, and adjust itself according to expected temperatures.

He paid £250 to have the system installed two months ago, but he has already noticed the savings.

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