British Gas have this week unveiled their Fix & Control August 2015 tariff, which comes with a voucher for the installation of Hive Active Heating technology.
The energy plan will cost the average user £1,257 per year and has £30 per fuel cancellation fees. It is £180 more expensive than British Gas’ Fixed Price May 2015 tariff, and £240 more expensive than the cheapest deal on the market.
Worth £199, Hive Active Heating enables customers to control their heating and hot water from their smartphone, tablet or laptop and has already been adopted by 50,000 homes across the UK.
According to the company behind Hive Active Heating, the product can help customers make savings of up to £150 by enabling users to keep their homes at the perfect temperature throughout the day. Users can, for example, fine tune their heating schedule to ensure their home is never too hot or too cold and even turn off the heating if their home is unexpectedly empty.
The device also turns the heating on automatically if your pipes are in danger of freezing due to cold temperatures.
It is worth noting that homes don't need to be British Gas customers to get access to the technology. Hive is available for £199.
Energy Expert at uSwitch Tom Lyon said: “Hive is an interesting, innovative product that will appeal to a certain niche of customers on many levels - as a gadget, a convenience and as an energy saving device.
“With prices for the system starting at £199, the technology does not come cheap, and its financial benefits remain to be seen. But the fact that 50,000 homes are already using it shows a clear demand for this kind of technology. These sorts of devices may well prove an important point of differentiation for energy suppliers in an increasingly crowded market. “
“This tariff allows consumers to fix for three months longer than British Gas’ current longest fixed term tariff. However, with an average bill size of £1,257 a year, the deal is £180 more expensive than British Gas’ Fixed Price May 2015 tariff and £240 a year more than the cheapest fixed price plan on the market, Ovo’s Cheaper Energy Fixed tariff.
It seems that British Gas is spreading the normal £199 cost of the Hive system over the life of the plan. This may suit some customers but it is important to think carefully about your requirements and weigh up the pros and cons before signing up,” added Lyon.