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A UK-based firm has come up with a heating meter that it believes is even more intelligent and efficient than the smart meter, with the integration of controls via texts from home owners' mobile phones just one of the new features that it offers.

According to the firm behind the PassivEnergy technology, the meter will automatically detect the heating and electrical needs of the consumer and turn on hot water and heating when they are needed. There will also be a single button which will switch all the electronic devices in a home to standby to save even more energy.

Total control of the meter will be possible using text messages and its creators believe that consumers could cut a fifth off their annual energy bills, which would help to cover the cost of the £300 meter and its installation within 24 months.

This is an improvement over the government plans to install smart meters in UK households over the next few years, as sceptics claim that these will only result in savings of around three per cent.

PassivEnergy's CEO Colin Calder told audiences at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) that he believes the meter will be a success as consumers have shown a willingness to invest in devices that make their lives easier, such as personal computers and mobile phones.

He also said that households had been left behind, with archaic technology installed to the detriment of people everywhere.

Mr Calder indicated that the meter would be able to keep a record as to how you made use of your various electronic devices and central heating and then work out if you had left any device or utility active by accident.

The existing thermostat in houses will be replaced by a single interface via which the user will be able to control every element of their newly networked home using PassivEnergy technology.

The firm claims that this will improve efficiency by 80 per cent over many of today's outdated devices, which are often inaccurate. Best of all, the whole thing is controlled wirelessly, so there is no over the top wiring or installation with which to contend.

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