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Smart Energy Solutions in the UK

If, like us, you’ve got that Hive jingle from the radio stuck in your head, you may well be interested to know which energy management device is the best on the market right now. This guide will directly compare the top three so you can make an informed decision when it comes to smart energy management in your home, or even in your office.

Nest vs Hive vs Tado

Whether you choose to embrace smart technology or not, there is no getting away from the fact that it is going to revolutionise the way we heat our homes and businesses. Manual thermostats will soon be a thing of the past and new, intuitive systems will replace them. The sensors contained in this new generation of thermostats will not only negate the need for you to turn the heat up or down manually – allowing you to schedule your central heating (and in some cases water) remotely – but they’ll also save you money by assessing the room temperature and automatically adjusting to ensure optimum energy efficiency.

More than half of the energy we consume in the home is for central heating, so it makes sense to take advantage of the fantastic technology we have available to us. But, as with anything these days, we have a myriad of devices and brands to choose from – which can make choosing your smart thermostats a bit of a minefield.

To make things easier, the energy team here at Love Energy Savings have compared the top three devices out there to help you make an informed decision when it comes to selecting a smart energy device for your home or office. 

Please note, these are NOT smart meters, but home automation systems. They are “smart” as they can be operated remotely via your tablet, computer or smartphone. To find out more about Smart Meters simply click here.

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Nest

Nest hit the market back in 2014, when Google purchased Nest Labs – a company that specialises in home automation devices.

Out of the three smart energy devices we’ve compared, Nest is the most advanced in terms of sensory abilities. Not only does it sense the room’s current temperature and adjust it accordingly, it also considers lighting, humidity and motion – intelligently recognising when you’re in the room or not. It has the capability to alert you when there is an opportunity to save energy and can even control your hot water.

Going on holiday? No problem, holiday mode allows you to schedule your heating so you come back to a warm home or office.  However, the biggest advantage of the Nest vs Tado or Hive is that it learns your schedule so that you never have to worry about whether you’ve programmed the device that day or not – it adapts to you and your lifestyle. The Nest certainly seems to have taken the concept of smart energy management that little bit further than the rest of the pack!

In terms of disadvantages, the Nest does highly recommend professional installation, unless you are well trained in electronic installation. It also requires a plug socket to be close by as it uses a rechargeable battery instead of your standard AA batteries. Another downside is that while the room the Nest sits in will be perfectly temperate at all times, it does only adapt to that room, leaving the rest of your house, or office to fend for itself.

On the plus side, you can now add additional devices to compliment your Nest device including a smoke detector or indoor and outdoor security cameras so not only can you rest assured that your heating will be on when you get back, but you can also rely on your house and belongings being there too.

Hive

Whether you love or hate their catchy jingle, Hive continues to be one of the best known and original smart energy management devices on the market. In terms of value, it’s claimed that it could save you £130 a year on heating, paying for itself in under two-years. You don’t have to take that as a given, because it will also show you how much money you have saved through being energy efficient too.

As the jingle says, “with Hive you can control your home, from your phone” but alongside this the device also boasts frost protection, identifying when the temperature drops below a certain level and warming the premises up so pipes don’t freeze, which works well with its holiday mode function – so you can go away knowing everything will be in working order upon your return.  

Disadvantages of the Hive include a lack of motion or light sensor (which Tado° and Nest both include as standard) and it also requires professional installation by a British Gas engineer. It should be noted that you do not have to be a British Gas customer to use Hive, but it would probably help.

The latest update does have a rather nifty new feature, when paired with Amazon’s Echo, you can now control your heating via voice control so you don’t even have to get your phone out!

Tado°

Of the three smart energy management systems we’ve compared, this is perhaps the lowest maintenance allowing you to easily install it yourself, without the need for a professional. There’s no user interactivity required with the Tado° system as it changes the temperature based on your daily routine and behaviour. This device is more of a personal heating assistant for the home or office, as it works out where you are in the building and sets the heat, based on your phone’s location.

It’s claimed that the Tado° will pay for itself in 12 months, cutting your energy bills by an average of 31%. Weather forecast integration also means that the Tado° system is smart enough to adapt indoor temperatures to outdoor conditions, it’s also able to sense humidity.

For those of you who aren’t sure whether or not to invest in a smart energy management system, Tado° gives consumers the opportunity to rent the system for £6.99 a month so you can trial it. On the other hand, if you’re a connoisseur of smart technology, Tado° is equally appealing, capable of linking to your IFTTT , Amazon Echo or Apple HomeKit.

Beyond hearsay of minor software malfunctions, there’s very little wrong with this lesser known option and given that it’s cheaper than the Hive and easier to install than the Nest, Tado° is a very appealing option.

Nest vs Hive vs Tado: Which is the best?

All three of the smart energy systems we’ve reviewed here have their own benefits and drawbacks, but after careful consideration we believe that Tado° is slightly ahead of the pack when looking at the devices overall. However, if you require a device leading the way in technology, Nest would be a preferable choice. As for Hive, well, it’s the old reliable favourite, professionally installed and with numerous add-ons available – which isn’t exactly a bad choice!

So, there you have it, the Love Energy Savings Guide to Smart Energy Solutions. As you can see, there are some seriously nifty pieces of kit on the market at present if you decide that smart energy management is the way forward for your home or business. As always, we’re completely impartial and can see the benefits of all of these thermostats but ultimately, the quickest and easiest way to save money on your energy is to ensure that you’re on a cheaper business energy tariff.

While these smart energy management systems can save you around a third on your bills, here at Love Energy Savings, we can save you 40%, with no need to invest in any device or installation services.

If you’d like to find out how much you could save simply click the button below to compare the prices available now!

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