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It seems like smart technology is everywhere right now, whether it be in mobile phones, lights or even kitchen appliances. Some scientists are predicting a future in which our homes will be completely interwoven with computer circuits, allowing us to have full control over virtually everything. It's therefore not surprising that smart technology has made its way into our domestic heating systems. Users can now connect their thermostat with a compatible device such as smartphone, tablet or laptop, offering a wealth of benefits. Not only does this mean that users can control their heating and cooling systems remotely but they can also keep track of key information such as energy usage. Armed with this information, consumers can make the changes needed in order conserve energy and therefore save money in the process. There are many types of smart thermostat devices out there. Obviously, many are manufactured by the energy companies themselves, including Touch from Eon, Hive from British Gas, HeatSmart from EDF Energy and Connect from Scottish Power. However, there are other options available, for example Nest which was bought by Google in 2014 and is making a huge impact on the market. Choosing the right thermostat will depend on your circumstances and what in particular you are looking for. Some of the devices can only be used if you are a customer of that particular energy company, whilst others are universal. Price is also an issue which should be considered as some of the devices can be bought outright but others, like Connect, require an upfront fee as well as a monthly usage charge.
So how do these devices go about saving you money?
The truth is, all of the thermostats offer different features but there are some key benefits which are found in all of them which can help in saving energy. For example, remote control of your heating system means that if you leave your home and have accidently left the heating on you can rectify this mistake wherever you may be. This means you won't be wasting energy, which is not only environmentally sound but also financially beneficial. Along the same lines, users can program their thermostat to come on and go off at specific times. You can therefore heat your home, only when necessary which is going to have a positive effect on your monthly bills. Features such as data collection can also be incredibly useful when trying to save energy. Homeowners can use this information to judge factors such as spikes, the cost of energy across the day and even seasonal changes. Some devices are going even further in their attempt to streamline the energy efficiency within the heating and cooling of the home. Google's Nest is a learning device which requires less input the longer it is used. This is due to the cutting edge technology within the thermostat which allows it to record information on your home and its heating and use this data to make choices of its own. Nest has the ability to judge when a user leaves the house and when they return home. This allows it to create personalised heating schedules which do not only meet all of your needs but also help you to save energy and money. So we have established that smart thermostats do help you to save money but how much? Well the makers of Nest conducted a study to ascertain this very fact and found that their thermostat on average was helping their customers to save around 20% on their annual bill. Similar research was carried out by Tadoo, using their device and they found average savings of 27%. Overall, the use of any smart thermostat is going to lead to a saving on your energy bills. How much money exactly will depend on the device, your home and your specific circumstances.