British Gas is trialling broadband-connected boilers which can report faults automatically and connect to Hive smart heating.
The boiler from Worcester Bosch connects to your home broadband and reports to British Gas customer service to detect faults even before it breaks down.
The Zigbee technology is the same used for British Gas Hive smart heating, so the two could eventually work together as a single smart heating and hot water system.
Kassir Hussain, Director of British Gas Connected Homes, said: “Current boiler technology means many engineer visits to investigate a boiler fault result in a return visits because engineers cannot carry every potential spare part with them for every visit.”
“Connected Boilers which can tell us what the fault is remotely mean we can fix boilers first time, much more reliably.
“In some cases, we’ll be able to contact the customer to fix their boiler before our customer even notices a problem saving them having to call us.”
The connected boiler is being tested in 700 homes until the end of 2014 so the technology can be refined before it’s launched to the public.
It has a built-in Zigbee wireless transmitter which communicates with a Hub that connects to your broadband router – Zigbee is a low-power wireless standard designed for smart home devices.
The first connection with Hive will be via a common customer interface through the Hive app for setting hot water timers and heating schedules.
It should be possible for future versions of the boiler to be directly controlled by Hive, instead of the external on-off switch currently fitted with the smart heating system.